A furious Mikel Arteta has slammed VAR and labelled it a ‘disgrace’ and ’embarrassing’ after Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the Premier League season came to an end in controversial fashion against Newcastle.
Arteta gave a scathing assessment of VAR following the decision to allow Anthony Gordon’s match winning effort in Newcastle’s 1-0 win, with the result dealing the Gunners an early blow in the title race.
Gordon’s 64th minute strike was checked by VAR officials for nearly four minutes, with three different incidents assessed.
Initially it was to check whether former Arsenal man Joe Willock managed to keep the ball in play in the buildup.
VAR then proceeded to check whether Joelinton fouled Gabriel at the back post when he rose to win a header, before checking whether Gordon was offside.
A furious Mikel Arteta watches on as Arsenal lose their unbeaten streak in the Premier League
Anthony Gordon wheels away in celebration after he scored the only but controversial goal
Players and fans were made to wait four minutes while a decision was made on the goal
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Arteta said the decision reached by VAR ‘makes me sick’, with the Arsenal manager slamming the awarding of the goal as ‘a disgrace.’
‘We have to talk about how the hell this goal was allowed, it’s incredible. I feel embarrassed. It’s an absolute disgrace that this goal was allowed. For many reasons it’s not a goal. It’s so difficult to compete at this level,’ Arteta said.
‘This is nowhere near the level to describe this as the best league in the world. I don’t care what they say, it’s too late.
‘The penalty on Eddie, there is a lot of things. The question is it’s not a goal, it’s simple. For a goal there are certainly things that are not allowed in football.
‘I have to stand here and explain, we lost three points. There’s too much at stake. It’s embarrassing. It’s not in their hands, I have to praise the players how they play here.
‘It’s incredible how they competed against this team, it makes me sick. I feel sick to be part of this.’
Arsenal were unable to overturn the 1-0 deficit with the Gunners suffering their first Premier League defeat of the season, losing key ground in the title race.
Arteta’s side lie third in the Premier League, three points behind reigning champions Man City after their home win over Bournemouth.
Arteta claimed the decision to award the goal made him ‘feel sick’ in his post match interviews
The first issue VAR checked was whether Joe Willock managed to keep the ball in play
Officials then tried to determine whether this was a push on Gabriel by Joelinton
Arteta’s post-match outburst puts the Arsenal boss as risk of being charged by the Football Association.
Last season Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp was suspended for two Premier League games and fined £75,000 after he was charged of improper conduct.
This was in regards to his comments about Paul Tierney, which were viewed as implied bias, questioning the integrity of the referee and bringing the game into disrepute.
Arteta’s comments have added to the growing scrutiny around VAR this season.
The most controversial VAR decision of the season came when Luis Diaz’s had a goal incorrectly disallowed during Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat by Tottenham in September.
Wolves manager Gary O’Neil has been vocal in his criticism of VAR in recent weeks.
O’Neil slammed ‘another terrible decision’ against his side following Wolves 2-1 loss against Sheffield United on Saturday.
The defeat capped a difficult week for Arteta’s side, who were beaten 3-1 in the Carabao Cup by West Ham in midweek.
Arteta’s outburst could leave the Arsenal manager at risk of being charged by the FA
The defeat saw Arsenal lose key ground in the title race after Man City beat Bournemouth
Arteta had bemoaned the absence of VAR from the match, after claiming West Ham’s opening goal should have been ruled out for a foul on Aaron Ramsdale.
‘If there’s VAR, there’s no goal for sure,’ Arteta said following the loss to West Ham. ‘I understand for the referees it’s difficult because of the angle and the number of people there.
‘But again, I don’t want to use that as an excuse. We can still compete for the ball much better than we did and in that position.
‘Obviously that takes [away] something in the game which is very important – momentum.’
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher, reacting to Arteta’s post match comments after the loss to Newcastle, came to the defence of the VAR officials.
The former Liverpool centre back highlighted that Gordon’s goal would have been given without VAR.
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher highlighted the goal would have also stood without VAR
‘VAR didn’t change a decision from the officials tonight on the goal,’ Carragher tweeted.
‘They couldn’t find enough evidence/camera angles to overturn the three incidents.
‘They couldn’t give the ball out if they don’t know 100 per cent. If there was no VAR it would still have been given as a goal.’
The flurry of VAR decisions took four minutes to decide, with the first taking a look at whether the ball went out of play as Willock attempted to rescue it.
It was then being checked whether Joelinton committed a foul on Gabriel as it appeared the Brazilian pushed his fellow countryman in the back.
After it was deemed that was not a foul, VAR tried to look at whether there was an offside as Gordon looked ahead of Joelinton.
However, it was confirmed that there was no conclusive angle that Joelinton made contact with the ball which means they didn’t know whether Gordon was offside.
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