Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has described the assistant referee’s decision to disallow the Newcastle goal in their 1-0 win as “disgraceful”.
Anthony Gordon bundled in the only goal with three VAR checks.
One was to see if the ball went out of play, another to see if there was a foul and the third to see if there was an offside violation – but they all came back in Newcastle’s favour.
The result ended Arsenal’s unbeaten start to the Premier League and the Spaniard was furious.
“I have to be here now to say it is not acceptable,” Arteta told Sky Sports.
“We didn’t deserve to lose the game. We lose the game because of the obvious and obvious decisions. It’s a shame. A shame. That’s what it is – a shame.
“You can’t imagine the amount of messages I got saying this can’t go on. I’m wasting my time. We’re wasting our time. I don’t want to be in people’s hands. “
The Spaniard continued with BBC Sport: “It’s a shame what happened – as this goal stands, in the Premier League – this league we say is the best in the world. It’s been 20 years in this country and Shame on me now. Shame and there’s too much at stake here. We’re trying to do incredible things and be at the highest level every week.
“The result is nowhere near the level this league needs. It’s not good enough. I feel ashamed to be a part of this.”
In his post-match media conference, Arteta’s anger continued and he said he felt “sick”.
“For many reasons it is not a goal,” he said.
On the fact that there were three checks, he said: “That makes it worse – you need to see one image to say ‘Okay, finished’. Then if you doubt check the second one and then they are at say this is a goal. . All right, then.”
Asked what decision he thought was wrong, he said: “This is really the question. It’s not a goal – it’s simple. For a goal to be allowed there are certain things before that which are not allowed in football – here and i. China, Japan, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. That’s what happens.”
Unsurprisingly, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe felt differently.
“It looked like a good goal to me,” he said. “We’re in the dark, we’re standing on the side of the pitch looking at VAR on the screen but no pictures. With every VAR check that was going on we thought one would save us in the end.”
It came at the end of the day when another Premier League manager, Wolves manager Gary O’Neil, claimed “we’re in a crazy place” with referees after Sheffield United were awarded a last-minute penalty to score to beat his team. 2-1.
What happened in St James’s Park?
Joe Willock tried to beat Jacob Murphy as he played close to the corner mat before he steadied himself and swung across. Joelinton beat Gabriel in the air before knocking the ball down into Gordon’s path.
With goalkeeper David Raya off his line, Gordon slotted into the net with ease.
Referee Stuart Attwell awarded the goal – and then the VAR checks began. A little over four minutes of them.
Former Newcastle player Chris Waddle, watching the game for BBC Radio 5 Live, initially said “there’s no way this was a goal”.
“I think there will be a VAR check on this because a lot of things happened during that transfer,” he said. “There was pressure, the ball looked like it might have gone out of play from Murphy’s shot, then the challenge into the Gabriel goal from Joelinton almost on target.”
So first there was a check to see if Willock kept the ball in play. “That’s tight. The curve of the ball, how can you even check that? I’m not sure,” pundit Gary Neville said on Sky Sports. Andrew Madley, the VAR, found that there was no conclusive evidence that the ball was out of play. That check lasted 33 seconds.
Then check to see if Joelinton fouled his Brazilian teammate Gabriel to get to the ball first. This one lasted 50 seconds and Madley deemed there was not enough contact to award a foul.
And then the final question. Was Gordon offside when Joelinton played the ball? The decision was made exactly 90 seconds later – there was no conclusive evidence on the outside. They couldn’t find an available camera angle to draw the VAR on the line.
So the goal stood. Three firm decisions, but the officers could not be sure that any of them were offenses.
Former Magpies defender Steve Watson, watching the game for BBC Radio Newcastle, said: “When the ball was deemed in play that was the end of it for me. I wasn’t really that worried about it. When it took that’s long.you always try to measure things.
“I didn’t see anything about the sacking and it certainly wasn’t over the top. They made the right decision in the end, but they put you through the mill in doing it.”
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