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Mikel Arteta ultimately thankful for lengthy Leeds-Arsenal delay

  • Sports

By Dan Critchlow

The big screen shows the reason VAR (Video Assistant Referee) are checking a possible Leeds penalty late in the game on October 16, 2022. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Between 14:00 and 14:40 on Sunday, there were plenty of frustrations shared between Arsenal players, staff, and fans at a lengthy delay to their Premier League match against Leeds United.

Following a brief power cut before kick-off, the referee’s communications system went down, preventing the officials from checking in with the Video Assistant Referee and forcing a reboot of the entire system.

40 minutes later, the game was back underway, and VAR ended up playing a major role in the eventual result.

With Arsenal 1-0 up going into injury time, the referee awarded a penalty and a red card for what he believed was a kick from Gabriel Magalhaes on Patrick Bamford.

However, replays showed that Bamford fouled Gabriel first, and that the Leeds United man made the most of minimal contact from the Arsenal defender.

After a VAR review, the referee overturned the penalty and downgraded Gabriel’s red card to a yellow.

Speaking after the game, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was grateful for the assistance of the technology.

“I haven’t seen it (the penalty incident), but everybody’s saying – obviously it’s our staff and players – that it was clear, the decision,” Arteta said.

“Thank god we made the system work before the game, so that delay was worth it, because without VAR I don’t know what would have happened.”

Arsenal's Spanish manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on October 16, 2022. - Arsenal won the game 1-0. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s Spanish manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the English Premier League football match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road in Leeds, northern England on October 16, 2022. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

It was certainly a big three points, with Manchester United drawing with Newcastle United, Manchester City losing to Liverpool, and United set to play Tottenham Hotspur in midweek. So it was important the officials got to the correct decision in the end.

Source: Daily Cannon.