Arsenal denied penalty after officials miss Erik Pieters' handball

Arsenal denied penalty after officials seem to miss Erik Pieters’ handball, but VAR correctly overturns a spot-kick for the Gunners and Burnley defender’s red card after ball comes off his shoulder moments later

  • Arsenal were denied what looked to be a clear penalty against Burnley
  • Nicolas Pepe played the ball against Erik Pieters’ hand in the area  
  • They were then given a spot-kick as Pieters blocked Pepe’s shot on the line
  • The decision was overturned as replays showed the ball hit his shoulder 

Arsenal had a major penalty appeal for handball turned down before seeing referee Andre Marriner award them a spot-kick and then be overturned by VAR in a dramatic second half against Burnley.

The Gunners were adamant they should have been given a penalty when Nicolas Pepe played the ball against Erik Pieters’ hand in the area and they had a strong case under the current rules.

Pieters escaped without punishment on that occasion but soon after he was in the thick of the action again, blocking Pepe’s shot on the goal line with his shoulder. This time, Marriner did point to the spot and showed the defender a red card but VAR correctly overturned the decision as the ball had not hit his hand.

Arsenal had a major penalty appeal for handball by Burnley against Erik Pieters turned down

The ball clearly hit Pieters hand and prevented Pepe from retrieving the ball in the area

Arsenal were then awarded a spot-kick when Pieters blocked Pepe’s shot but replays showed the ball hit his shoulder and the decision was overturned 

While the second decision was a fair one, Arsenal fans were furious that they were not given a penalty for the first incident involving Pieters while BT Sport’s Peter Walton expressed his surprise at the outcome. 

But in a statement given to SunSport, the Premier League said: ‘The ball has hit him from close proximity and he’s had no time to react.

‘It wasn’t given on-field and the VAR didn’t think it was a clear error.’

BT Sport pundit Martin Keown questioned the consistency of the handball decisions that have been given this season and disagreed with the decision not to award the penalty.

Pieters was shown a red card for the second incident before VAR overturned the decision

He said: ‘I know the rules are going to be changed but for me that’s definitely handball. Out comes the arm, how someone in the VAR room has looked at that and said “no” is beyond me.’

Fellow pundit Joe Cole was also perplexed by the decision, adding: ‘This for me is a penalty. It’s staggering how VAR hasn’t picked up on this. It’s a clear penalty. Mikel Arteta will be furious with that.’

Speaking after the dramatic end to the game, the Burnley defender said: ‘I got a yellow, a red, got a shot on goal! We defended well, all of us, to make sure we didn’t lose this game. 

‘With a bit more luck we could have got the three points. I didn’t know where it was, I felt the ball on my shoulder. I’m happy with the clearance. 

‘We’ve been way better than that. We have to give the team credit. We worked really hard to get the equaliser. Great effort from the lads. We attack altogether and defend altogether. If you can’t win, take a point.’ 

Gunners fans took to Twitter to share their anger, with one writing: ‘I can’t believe how poor the officiating in this league is. That was not a penalty, but why didn’t they have a proper check with the handball incident earlier? Absolutely ridiculous.’

Another added: ‘Burnley defender literally going for a basketball steal and the ref didn’t give the handball for that? They get worse every week! Arsenal have been done dirty here. The most obvious handball all season and the ref doesn’t give it. they don’t have a clue what a handball is these refs (sic).’ 


Arsenal fans were furious at the decision not to award a penalty for the first handball incident

BT Sport’s Peter Walton admitted he was surprised a penalty had not been awarded

The handball law has caused much controversy in the top flight this season. Rules that led referees to judge virtually every touch of arm and ball to be an offence, resulting in a spate of controversial decisions, had threatened to undermine the credibility of the game.

The International Football Association Board (IFAB) announced on Friday that, from next season onwards, referees will be allowed to use their ‘judgement’ when it comes to an offence and ‘accidental handball leading to a team-mate scoring a goal or having a goal-scoring opportunity’ will no longer be considered an offence.

Josh Maja saw his goal against Tottenham disallowed on Thursday after the ball accidentally hit team-mate Mario Lemina’s hand. Under the new rules, his goal would have been able to stand.  

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article