VAR fails to stop Arsenal beating Leicester

VAR fails to stop Arsenal beating Leicester
LEICESTER, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 25: The LED board shows the decision of “No Goal” after a VAR check during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Arsenal FC at The King Power Stadium on February 25, 2023 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

When is a foul not a foul? When it’s on an Arsenal player in the box, it seems.

Earlier in the season (was it this season? So many of these to keep track of), we saw Aaron Ramsdale bear-hugged on the line, a foul so blatant it could be seen from space, yet still the goal against Arsenal stood.

So, to see Arsenal lose a brilliant goal by Leandro Trossard because Ben White’s fingers touched the Leicester keeper’s hand, something that caused Danny Ward no inconvenience and played no role in the goal, was infuriating.

It was made even worse when Bukayo Saka was rugby tackled in the box with nothing given.

VAR didn’t even look at it.

It makes sense, when you think about it.

Just recently, Lee Mason lost his job because he failed to draw lines and I imagine his colleagues aren’t best pleased. They certainly seem to be acting like cops who are extracting retribution for their ‘wronged’ colleague.

In short, Arsenal look like they are being punished because Lee Mason wasn’t able to do his job. Refs may not be corrupt, but they are human.

The game itself saw Arsenal dominate possession throughout but struggle to convert chances, if you ignore that we had ball in the net after 28 minutes through Trossard, of course.

There was also the Bukayo Saka goal that was ruled out for offside.

We got no lines for that one, either.

Leicester had little to offer in attack, with Dewsbury-Hall’s 72nd minute shot from outside the box their only effort of note.

Gabriel Martinelli scored the only goal of the game after just 51 seconds of the second half, assisted by Trossard, who dribbled down the left flank before setting up the Brazilian for a curled finish inside the box.

After the game, Mikel Arteta said, “We dominated the game almost from start to finish.

“In general I think our play and understanding of spaces was excellent.

“We lacked that final pass to score more.

“We had the decision with the disallowed goal which was frustrating to take, but to restrict Leicester to one shot at home is great.”

Asked about the penalty not given for the foul on Saka, Arteta said, “I haven’t seen that image. It’s over now.

“We’re extremely happy to win two away games and deserve them.”

In an interview with Sky Sports, Arteta also said, “I think for the amount of time that we dominated the ball, possession and territory, the amount of situations that we created in the final third, we should have created much more and scored more goals.

“When you don’t, then you have to be exceptional in your defensive work. I think we conceded one chance, one shot off target, only so I think defensively the team was outstanding. Great, because it’s a really difficult place to come here and win. We’ve done it and it’s a huge win.

“Obviously, we want to start fast [in the second half] and start to get in their toes again. It was a really good moment to give us the advantage.

“We think about the next game, the Premier League is so tough, next we have Everton, we suffered already in Liverpool with what they did to us, we’re going to have to prepare really well, play well and be really dominant in the game to earn the right to win.”


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