Mikel Arteta bemoaned a controversial penalty call that went against Arsenal in Saturday’s action-packed 1-1 draw with Burnley.
The Gunners – who led through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang but were pegged back after Granit Xhaka’s woeful attempted pass hit Chris Wood and flew in – were denied two spot-kicks late on at Turf Moor, but it was the first incident which irked Arteta.
Clarets substitute Erik Pieters appeared to handle the ball but referee Andre Marriner was unmoved by the visitors’ appeals and was given no signal to award a spot-kick by VAR.
Marriner did point to the spot for a different incident in which the industrious Pieters deflected Nicolas Pepe’s effort over the crossbar, but the Dutchman – who had been shown a red card – was reprieved after a VAR review.
Reflecting on what he will surely feel were two points dropped, Arteta was somewhat bemused by the decisions that did not go his way.
“It’s a really tough place to come on a difficult pitch, but I have to say we should have scored the big chances we had,” he said, having seen Dani Ceballos strike the post deep into stoppage time amid a host of missed opportunities.
“When you miss the chances we had, and you do not get decisions, it is complicated to win football games. If that is not a penalty, then someone needs to explain what one is.
“From what we produced, you have to come here and win. When you do not, you have to look at yourself. We completely dominated the first half but they make it difficult with a lot of long balls.
“We generated chances and we should have won by two or three goals. if you give any hope to any team in the Premier League, they are going to take it.”
84′ VAR is checking the situation. 1-1
— Burnley FC (@BurnleyOfficial) March 6, 2021
VAR has been the subject of much controversy, but in Burnley boss Sean Dyche the technology has an ardent supporter.
“I’m a fan of VAR, we know it has to be streamlined but that is where it’s worth it’s weight in gold,” he said, expressing his gratitude that it overturned Pieters’ punishment.
“The referee couldn’t wait to get his red card out today, although he is a very fine referee. That is what VAR is for.”