Mikel Arteta launched a stunning attack on England’s referees after Anthony Gordon’s controversial winning goal for Newcastle left him ‘sick’ and condemned Arsenal to their first Premier League defeat of the season.
The Arsenal boss said: ‘How on earth did this goal stand? It’s unbelievable. I am ashamed. It is an absolute shame that this is allowed. It is not a goal for many reasons.”
The 64th minute goal underwent three separate VAR checks: to confirm Joe Willock kept the ball in play before crossing, a possible foul on Gabriel by Joelinton and whether goalscorer Gordon was offside.
Referee Stuart Attwell also failed in the first half, issuing red cards to Kai Havertz for a rash challenge and Bruno Guimaraes for an elbow on Jorghino.
Areteta said, “It’s so hard to compete at this level. This is nowhere near the (referee) level to describe this as the best competition in the world. I feel sick to be a part of this.”
An angry Mikel Arteta watches as Arsenal lose their unbeaten run in the Premier League
Anthony Gordon drives away in celebration after scoring the only but controversial goal
Players and fans had to wait four minutes while a decision on the goal was made
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Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya reacted furiously: ‘We are all frustrated. I saw the ball go out of play. I think it’s a foul on Gabriel and it’s offside.’
Arteta added in his post-match interviews: ‘The punishment for Eddie, there are many things. The question is: it is not a goal, it is simple. Before a goal there are certainly things that are not allowed in football.
‘I have to stand here and explain that we lost three points. There’s too much at stake. It’s humiliating. It’s not in their hands, I have to commend the players for how they are playing here.
“It’s unbelievable how they competed against this team, it makes me sick. I feel sick to be a part of this.”
Arsenal failed to overturn a 1-0 deficit, while the Gunners suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season and lost important ground in the title race.
Arteta’s side sit third in the Premier League, three points behind reigning champions Man City after their home win over Bournemouth.
Arteta’s post-match outburst puts the Arsenal boss at 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 being accused of inappropriate behaviour.
Arteta claimed the decision to award the goal made him ‘sick’ in his post-match interviews
The first thing the VAR looked at was whether Joe Willock managed to keep the ball in play
Officials then tried to determine if this was a push on Gabriel by Joelinton
This related to his comments about Paul Tierney, which were seen as implicit bias, questioning the referee’s integrity and bringing the game into disrepute.
Arteta’s comments have contributed to the increasing attention paid to VAR this season.
The most controversial VAR decision of the season came when a Luis Diaz goal was wrongly disallowed during Liverpool’s 2-1 defeat to Tottenham in September.
Wolves manager Gary O’Neil has spoken out in recent weeks about his criticism of VAR.
O’Neil condemned his side for ‘another terrible decision’ after Wolves’ 2-1 defeat to Sheffield United on Saturday.
The defeat capped a difficult week for Arteta’s side, who were beaten 3-1 by West Ham in the Carabao Cup in midweek.
Arteta had complained about the absence of VAR in the match after claiming West Ham’s opening goal should have been disallowed due to a foul on Aaron Ramsdale.
“If there is VAR, there is certainly no goal,” Arteta said after the defeat to West Ham. “I understand it’s difficult for the referees because of the angle and the number of people there.
Arteta’s outburst could put the Arsenal manager at risk of being charged by the FA
The defeat meant Arsenal lost important ground in the title race after Man City defeated Bournemouth
“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 that is very important: momentum.”
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher responded to Arteta’s post-match comments following the loss to Newcastle and defended the VAR officials.
The former Liverpool centre-back insisted that Gordon’s goal would have been awarded without VAR.
Officials had to review three separate incidents before deciding to award Gordon’s goal
Sky Sports expert Jamie Carragher emphasized that the goal would have stood even without VAR
“VAR has not changed the referees’ decision on the goal tonight,” Carragher tweeted.
“They couldn’t find enough evidence/camera angles to undo the three incidents.
‘They can’t play the ball if they don’t know it 100 percent. If there had been no VAR it would still have been given as a goal.”
The flurry of VAR decisions lasted four minutes before the decision was made, with the first looking to see if the ball went out of play as Willock tried to save it.
It was then checked whether Joelinton had committed a foul on Gabriel, as it appeared the Brazilian pushed his compatriot in the back.
After ruling this was not a foul, VAR tried to check for offside as Gordon looked out for Joelinton.
However, it was confirmed that there was no closing angle where Joelinton made contact with the ball, meaning they did not know if Gordon was offside.