Tuesday, July 23

VAR controversy leaves Arsenal with a draw

Arsenal drew 1-1 against Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday. With the loss Arsenal are in more trouble in their quest to qualify for the Champions League. Arteta made five changes to his starting lineup ahead of a Europa League match against Olympiakos.

Five minutes into the game, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pushed Mikel Arteta’s side ahead. But Chris Wood equalized before halftime thanks to a blunder by Granit Xhaka. The home team needed a stroke of luck to get back into the game, and it came in comical fashion seven minutes before halftime.

As Arsenal tried to reclaim the lead, Martin Odegaard checked Pope with a low drive six minutes into the second half, before Saka’s effort was blocked inside the area. Arsenal pushed really hard for the lead but just couldn’t find the net.

Arteta substituted Alexandre Lacazette for Martin Odegaard. Arsenal were convinced they should have had a penalty when Pieters appeared to treat inside the box. As Erik Pieters appeared to manage in the area in the final 15 minutes, Arsenal felt they should have been awarded a penalty.

But referee Andre Marriner did not award it, and Kevin Friend, the VAR, confirmed his decision. In the final six minutes, there was more excitement when Pieters was sent off for handling Nicolas Pepe’s goal-bound shot, and a penalty was awarded. After another VAR investigation revealed Pieters had used his shoulder, the red card was rescinded and the suspension was suspended.

Burnley held on in a thrilling finish, surviving two penalty appeals and seeing Arsenal reach the post by Dani Ceballos as the home side clung on.

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