Angry Ten Hag blames VAR after Ajax denied by Chelsea in eight-goal thriller
Erik ten Hag said Ajax were denied victory by VAR and the referee following their thrilling eight-goal draw with Chelsea in the Champions League.
Ajax led 4-1 10 minutes into the second half before last season's semi-finalists had two men sent off and Chelsea staged a stunning comeback for a 4-4 draw in London on Tuesday.
Tammy Abraham and Kepa Arrizabalaga own goals and strikes from Quincy Promes and Donny van de Beek had Ajax in control until Daley Blind and Joel Veltman were sent off in the space of a minute.
Jorginho converted the resulting 71st-minute penalty – his second successful spot-kick of the match – before substitute Reece James equalised three minutes later at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea's Cesar Azpilicueta had a late goal ruled out by VAR.
Speaking afterwards, head coach Ten Hag told reporters: "Angry. Am I angry? I am more disappointed. Disappointed in the resulted. But also, proud the way we played, with 11 men but also with nine men."
Asked if Ajax lost points because of VAR, Ten Hag – who has been linked to the Bayern Munich vacancy following Niko Kovac's departure – replied: "Yes. I think so. Also in Amsterdam [a 1-0 loss to Chelsea] two crucial moments they got wrong, and also tonight the VAR is wrong."
"Tonight, that is football, you have to accept it," Ten Hag added. "How hard it might be. The positive thing you can take from this game is that we played great.
"But the decisions of the referee and VAR cannot be reversed. But we have been punished very harsh tonight."
The result left Ajax, Chelsea and Valencia level on seven points after four matchdays in Group H, with Ten Hag's side top on goal difference.
"They executed the plan perfectly," Ten Hag said. "We are still top of the group. How hard it is to accept this result, we must look forward. We have all to play for and we must continue. I'm happy with the development from the team."