ARTETA RUES VAR LUCK: TWO RED CARDS END UNBEATEN RUN
Thre was more VAR controversy in the Premier league as Wolves end Arsenals run of seven wins after 2-1 victory at the Molineux Stadium
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was left confused by referee Craig Pawson’s decision to send off David Luiz, he said, “I have seen the reply ten times and there is no contact.”
Just before the stroke of half time in Tuesday night’s fixture between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Arsenal, the home side were awarded a penalty after Willian Jose had supposedly been tripped by Arsenal center back David Luiz.
Pawson subsequently sent off the Brazilian as he deemed it as not only a clear goalscoring opportunity, but that Luiz had made no attempt to play the ball.
But further replays indicated that not only was there doubt that there was any contact but that, if there was, it should have been a yellow card.
Luiz is clearly seen as making no attempt at the ball, but it also shows that he does not try to take Jose down.
Instead, the trailing leg of the Wolves striker hits Luiz by accident, but that was not how it was interpreted at the time.
Ruben Neves put away a superb penalty to equalize going to half time.
After the game, former referee Mark Clattenburg came out in support of the Arsenal man.
‘Luiz was genuinely trying to get back on terms with Jose and it was an accidental foul. This type of incident is accepted as a penalty and yellow card, said Clattenburg.
‘Referee Craig Pawson and VAR Jon Moss got it wrong.’
Arteta went on to say in his post-match press conference that he and the necessary parties will move forward with appealing the decision. But since then that appeal has been denied by the FA.
Up until the sending off Arsenal looked to have the game in the bag. Although only one up there were no signs of them losing the lead.
A redefined Nicolas Pepe opened the scoring on the half hour mark with wonderful footwork on the edge of the box followed by a curling effort to the far post leaving keeper Rui Patricio rooted to the spot.
After the restart things went from bad to worse for the Gunners when Joao Moutinho’s stunning effort from 30 yards out was just out of reach from Arsenal's Bernd Leno.
And if there was a hint of a comeback from the away side that idea was put to bed twenty minutes later when Arsenal went down to nine men. Leno handling the ball outside his box. To put the game firmly in Wolves’ hands.
Despite the loss Arteta was ever the optimist, he said “I am extremely proud of the way we played in the first half”.
“When you go down to nine men in the Premier league it is almost impossible to win.”
Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo will no doubt be happy with the victory, but he will know that this was a game won through opposition mistakes not Wolves’ play.
The incident will bring further debate as to the accuracy of decisions made by not only referees but VAR also and whether there needs to be additional updates to the rules in place.