The Eagles get VAR reviews at Arsenal


Written By: Robert Halter


Arsenal were divided in the table by one point and one place with Crystal Palace. In the fourth minute from a delivery by Andros Townsend, a header by James McArthur, was latched upon by Bernd Leno. But in the seventh minute, off a Nicolas Pepe corner and header on by Sokratis Papastathopolous, as Wayne Hennessey was caught flapping, the ball was headed out by Gary Cahill, and was knocked on from Granit Xhaka, before Sokratis, turned his strike into the bottom right corner. Two minutes later from another Pepe corner, it was flicked on off the head of Alexandre Lacazette, and from close range the ball was converted into the top left corner by David Luiz. In the twelfth minute, through a Kieran Tierney cross, a low drive from Lacazette, was kept out by a sprawling save from Hennessey. On fourteen minutes, a long ball from Matteo Guendouzi, set free Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but he dragged his shot wide while being marshalled by Joel Ward. In the twenty fifth minute, a ball by Dani Ceballos, deflected off Patrick van Aanholt, and a strike by Tierney, went out wide to the left. On twenty nine minutes, after Luka Milivojevic, delivered a long ball to Wilfiried Zaha, who was initially booked by referee Martin Atkinson, after being clipped by Calum Chambers in the area, but this was over turned after a VAR decision awarded a penalty and the caution to Zaha was cancelled, before Milivojevic put his spot kick into the bottom right corner. In the thirty fifth minute, Lacazette and Chambers linked play, before a cross from Ceballos was turned into the outside netting of the left post by Tierney. Following a foul by James Tomkins on Lacazette, a quickly taken free kick by Ceballos was put through from Aubameyang, and the ball was struck by Pepe, past the right post. Just before half time, Cheikhou Kouyate teed the ball up for van Aanholt, whose rising effort was pushed out by Leno. The first caution went to Chambers for pushing over Townsend, early in the second half. But in the fifty second minute, the Eagles fought back to level terms, when van Aanholt and Zaha controlled the left flank, and from McArthur’s cross, nipping in front of Luiz, at Leno’s near post, Jordan Ayew headed the ball in. The first Arsenal change was Bukayo Saka for Xhaka, and as the Arsenal captain slowly left the field he pricked his ears to a ring of boos from his own supporters and then took his shirt off in disgust. In the sixty second minute, Lacazette brought into play Chambers, who was initially blocked by Ward, before he turned the ball over the top left corner. Two minutes later, Lacazette and Ceballos joined forces, before Guendouzi drove the ball into Hennessey. In the sixty seventh minute from Pepe’s corner, a close range header by Lacazette was caught from Hennessey. After Ayew clattered into Ceballos, a free kick by Pepe, drifted over in the seventieth minute. From a Chambers throw in, an over the top ball by Guendouzi, was clipped against the outside of the right post by Lacazette, in the seventy second minute. The Eagles response was a pass from van Aanholt, before the ball was sprayed wide by Zaha. The Gunners then took off Tierney for Sead Kolasinac and the Eagles later brought on Christian Benteke for Ayew. But in the eighty third minute from a Pepe corner, as Lacazette found Chambers who collided with Milivojevic, a miss placed ball by Benteke was turned into the net by Sokratis, but VAR ruled the goal out for a foul by Chambers on Milivojevic. On eighty nine minutes, Guendouzi and Lacazette worked the ball over to Luiz, whose strike was acrobatically turned over by Hennessey. In stoppage time from a Hennessey goal kick, and a header on from Benteke, a low strike from Zaha went behind off Sokratis. In stoppage time, Kouyate was replaced with James McCarthy. The final caution went to Guendouzi for pulling down Zaha as he tried to run through, following a poor Pepe corner, as the match ended a 2-2 draw.