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Why Arsenal’s VAR accusations on Newcastle United goal are off the mark

Arsenal suffered their first defeat of the season against Newcastle United on Saturday in a game dominated by yet another VAR controversy.

Anthony Gordon scored the only goal of the game, but the strike was only awarded after an extensive check from VAR, who probed it from different angles such as offside, foul near the goal line and the ball going out of play.

Believing to have become the latest victim of VAR farce, Gunners manager Mikel Arteta fumed at the decision as a disgrace.

“We have to talk about the result because you have to talk about how the hell this goal stands up and it’s incredible,” Arteta said.

“I feel embarrassed, but I have to be the one now coming here to try to defend the club and please ask for help because it’s an absolute disgrace that this goal is allowed – an absolute disgrace.

“Again, I feel embarrassed having more than 20 years in this country, and this is nowhere near the level to describe this as the best league in the world. I am sorry.”

Arsenal also concurred with their manager’s words, questioning the standards of the erratic VAR.

“PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating and focus on action which moves us all on from retrospective analysis, attempted explanations and apologies,” read the Gunners statement.

The Premier League has been awash with VAR controversies this season, including the Wolverhampton Wanderers vs Manchester United and Liverpool vs Tottenham Hotspur matches.

The game between Spurs and Liverpool sparked more controversies following VAR’s decision to chalk off Luis Diaz’s goal when he was visibly onside. PGMOL later confirmed that a significant human error had happened.

However, the accusations on VAR in Arsenal’s game are slightly off the mark.

Firstly, there was no clear-cut evidence showing the ball went out of play when Willock retrieved it in the build-up to the goal.

While there was no substantial proof to rule Gordon offside, many people believe that Joelinton’s challenge on Gabriel Magalhaes should have been awarded as foul.

However, from a defender’s standpoint, Gabriel was expected to be a little stronger for that challenge, which was why the decision may have gone against the Gunners.

The defeat leaves Arteta’s side in fourth position with 24 points, three points off leaders Manchester City.

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