Former Arsenal midfielder Paul Merson says he will be shocked if the Gunners beat Manchester City on Wednesday night after their performance against Brentford on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by the Bees in a thrilling London derby marred by a controversial VAR decision.
After a goalless opening 45 minutes, the second half sparked into life when January acquisition Leandro Trossard broke the deadlock just four minutes after replacing Gabriel Martinelli.
However, their lead did not last very long as Ivan Toney restored parity for Thomas Frank’s resilient Bees in the 74th minute.
Christian Norgaard appeared to be returning from an offside position before crossing for Toney to finish, but after a VAR review, the goal was given.
However, upon further investigation, it appeared VAR official Lee Mason did not fully investigate the event and forgot to draw lines to determine whether or not Norgaard was in an offside position in the build-up to the goal.
PGMOL have contacted Arsenal to admit the error. But it could prove costly for Arteta’s side, who have now dropped points in consecutive games ahead of their midweek title decider against City.
While Arsenal were left aggrieved by the referee’s decision, Merson believes the Gunners did not do enough to win the game and would be shocked if they manage a victory over City.
“After the performance, I don’t see them beating Man City on Wednesday night – I’d be quite shocked,” Merson said (via Football Daily).
“They were so open at the back, if they [Brentford] had picked the right pass at times, they would have got in and won that game.
“Man City have better quality players to pick that right pass, and I think come Wednesday night, I’d be quite shocked if Arsenal went and won that game.”
The VAR call denied Arsenal the chance to go eight points clear at the top, and City could reduce the gap to three points with a win over Aston Villa, although the Gunners still have a game in hand.
Having dropped points in their last two games, Arsenal cannot afford defeat against City on Wednesday night, setting the tone for a pulsating encounter between both sides.
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