Gabriel Martinelli’s fantastic strike ought to have made it 1-0 to Arsenal in the 12th minute of today’s 3-1 defeat to Man Utd at Old Trafford.
Instead, VAR does what VAR does, and it chalked off the goal for a foul in the build-up by Martin Odegaard on Christian Eriksen. It was generous, to say the least, but then this has been a weekend when officiating has flummoxed and frustrated football fans, and it did the same to the Arsenal captain and manager.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Martin Odegaard said, :”In my opinion, it’s never a foul. The referee sees it and plays play on.
“It’s a soft challenge and for VAR to come in it has to be clear and obvious. That’s been said a lot of times.
“On the camera, you can always make it look a little bit worse, but, for me, that was never a foul so it’s frustrating.
“I barely touched him, they keep saying this is the Premier League and want it to be physical. I don’t understand how he can go back on it.”
While Mikel Arteta was unhappy about how a foul one day can not be a foul the next, or even from one game to another.
“It’s inconsistency,” he said. “What is soft? Last week, we had a foul on Aaron (Ramsdale) that was soft, but wasn’t given, and foul on Bukayo (Saka) that was soft, but it’s not a penalty. Then today another soft challenge and it’s a foul.
“From the first action there were some strong tackles, but no yellow card because they want to put the threshold up because it’s a big game, so really difficult to understand.”
On the result, Odegaard continued, ““Yeah, of course, we have to look to the next one, we’re still on top of the league.
“We have to look for the next one, win that one, that’s all. There were a lot of good moments in the game as well, so we have to take those and learn from the bad ones as well.
“Then look for the next game.”