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UEFA's new semi-automated VAR system played a key role in Chelsea's humiliating Champions League defeat away to Dinamo Zagreb – just hours before Thomas Tuchel was sacked.
The Blues fell to a 1-0 defeat against the Croatian champion on Tuesday night in their opening group stage match, leaving them bottom of group E. However, Chelsea thought they had pulled level in the second half when Ben Chilwell's cross picked out debutant Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang at the back post.
The goal was ruled out, though, after UEFA's semi-automated offside technology (SAOT) spotted Chilwell had been offside in the build-up prior to finding Aubameyang unmarked at the far post. And within a matter of hours of the defeat, Tuchel lost his job.
READ MORE: Chelsea sack Thomas Tuchel just weeks into Todd Boehly's era
SAOT was being used for the first time in the Champions League on Tuesday night as the group stage got underway, with UEFA and FIFA having spent the last three years testing the system.
Having been trialled at the Club World Cup back in February, SAOT was used by UEFA for the first time in last month's Super Cup final between Real Madrid and Eintracht Frankfurt.
FIFA have already confirmed that the system will be in use at the World Cup in Qatar in November and December following it's successful trial runs.
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UEFA chief refereeing officer Roberto Rosetti has welcomed the new technology, explaining, via the Daily Mail: “For the good of the game and the good of refereeing, UEFA always wants to use the best technology available.
“UEFA is always looking for new technological solutions to improve the game and support the work of the referees. And this is what we want from semi-automated offside in the future.”
Unfortunately for Chelsea, though, the new system prevented them from avoiding an embarrassing defeat in Zagreb, with Mislav Orsic's first half goal the difference after he punished a mix-up between Kalidou Koulibaly and Wesley Fofana.
The defeat has turned out to be the last of Thomas Tuchel's reign as Chelsea manager after he was sacked by the club on Wednesday morning.
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