Ex-Premier League referee explains "scandalous" Arsenal penalty decision

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Ex-Premier League referee explains "scandalous" Arsenal penalty decision
Ex-Premier League referee explains "scandalous" Arsenal penalty decision

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has said he understands why Arsenal weren't awarded a penalty for an apparent foul on Gabriel during their draw with Newcastle United.

The Gunners' Brazilian defender went down in the box during the second half of the goalless draw, with Newcastle defender Dan Burn appearing to have hold of his shirt. It was one of two penalty appeals from the hosts to be waved away by referee Andy Madley, with the second coming in stoppage-time at the end of the game when the ball struck the arm of Jacob Murphy.

Madley opted against pointing to the spot, and the Video Assistant Referee did not intervene to hand Mikel Arteta's team a spot-kick. Gallagher, who refereed in the Premier League between 1992 and 2007, felt Burn could count himself fortunate but explained why he felt the on-field decision was not overturned.

"I think, when you're going to give a penalty, the ramifications are so much higher," Gallagher told Sky Sports. "The referee wants to be absolutely positive, and I think they do look at it slightly differently, and I did that in my day.

"It was difficult for the referee because, you didn't see his angle there, but he couldn't really see because of the players around him. When the VAR looks at it, you can see that, and that's why I think Dan Burn has taken a massive risk.

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"I think he's won the battle there, because when you look at it on a replay, it's easier to justify a penalty. But I think how they want the VAR to operate now, I can understand why it wasn't given."

Should Arsenal have been awarded a penalty? Have your say in the comments section

Ex-Premier League referee explains "scandalous" Arsenal penalty decisionArsenal wanted a penalty for a foul on Gabriel (Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Arteta was left frustrated by some of the decision-making at the Emirates Stadium, but insisted he was not targeting referee Madley specifically. "We had so many situations to finish them better and then we had two scandalous penalties,” the Spaniard said.

“It is not about which [appeal] was stronger, we had two penalties. I am not talking about the referee, I am talking about what I saw and that was two scandalous penalties."

Per the official language of the Premier League, VAR is in place to help avoid "clear and obvious" errors. This means "If the evidence provided by the broadcast footage does not accord with what the referee believes they have seen, then the VAR can recommend an overturn".

Arsenal are among the clubs found to have been the victim of an incorrect VAR call in this season's Premier League, according to the findings of an independent panel. The incident in question concerned Gabriel Martinelli's disallowed goal in the 3-1 defeat at Manchester United, the only game the Gunners have lost in the league this season.

Tom Victor

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