Arsenal v Man City: Match in pictures
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VAR was once again the hot topic in the Premier League when Arsenal welcomed Manchester City to the Emirates Stadium on Saturday after a dubious penalty decision went City’s way. And Rio Ferdinand let his thoughts on the matter known, stating VAR ‘frustrates’ him.
Arsenal played City off the park in the first half, going into the break 1-0 up against Pep Guardiola’s men.
A run of 11 wins in 16 in the Premier League looked set to be 12 from 17 with a victory over the league leaders.
And it could have been much different had referee Stuart Attwell given a penalty in Arsenal’s favour.
Martin Odegaard went down under pressure from Ederson as almost 60,000 inside the ground screamed for a penalty.
A boot was thought to have caught Odegaard, although the VAR official decided that Ederson had in fact got to the ball first.
And Ferdinand was left incensed that the officials in charge couldn’t see what he thought was a “clear and obvious” penalty.
“With VAR I don’t understand how that’s not given,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“In slo mo it’s clear and obvious.
“This clear and obvious stuff really frustrates me because it just clouds everything.”
Arsenal ended up conceding thanks to a VAR controversy of their own, with Granit Xhaka adjourned to have pulled Bernardo Silva’s shirt in the box on the hour mark.
Riyad Mahrez took the penalty and scored, before a Gabriel red card ensured all the Gunners could do was sit back and defend, albeit in vain as a last-gasp Rodri winner meant they ended the game empty handed.
The incident is just another in a long list of contentious decisions marred by VAR this season.
The result means City pick up a valuable three points given Arsenal’s current form.
Guardiola’s men now sit 11 points clear at the top of the table after a string of successive wins in the Premier League.
And Arsenal remain fourth, although Manchester United can overtake them if they win their two games in hand.
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