Arsenal manager angry at controversial Anthony Gordon winner that survived a four-minute, triple VAR check; Goal award condemns Arsenal to their first Premier League defeat of the season
Sunday 5 November 2023 15:55, UK
Mikel Arteta has described the controversial decision to award Newcastle's winning goal against Arsenal as "disgraceful" and "embarrassing".
Anthony Gordon's goal survived a triple VAR check with Arsenal arguing the ball had gone out of play in the build-up and Gabriel was then pushed in the back.
Claims for an apparent offside were also not upheld after VAR deemed they could not determine the moment of contact when the ball was passed to Gordon.
"It's a disgrace," Arteta told Sky Sports. "It's embarrassing. That's how I feel and that's how everybody feels in that [dressing] room. You cannot imagine the amount of messages we've got saying this cannot continue. It's embarrassing. I'm sorry, embarrassing."
The Arsenal manager added: "I feel sick. That's how I feel. I feel sick to be part of this. It is not good enough and we cannot accept that."
Gordon's goal condemned the Gunners to their first Premier League defeat of the season.
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, perhaps predictably, saw matters rather differently. "It looked a good goal to me," he said. Had the goal been ruled out, Newcastle would have ended the match with an XG of 0.3.
In a club statement on Sunday, Arsenal called for the PGMOL to urgently address the standard of refereeing in the Premier League.
"Arsenal Football Club wholeheartedly supports Mikel Arteta's post-match comments after yet more unacceptable refereeing and VAR errors on Saturday evening," the statement read.
"We'd also like to acknowledge the huge effort and performance from our players and travelling supporters at St James' Park.
"The Premier League is the best league in the world with the best players, coaches and supporters, all of whom deserve better. PGMOL urgently needs to address the standard of officiating and focus on action which moves us all on from retrospective analysis, attempted explanations and apologies.
"We support the ongoing efforts of Chief Refereeing Officer, Howard Webb and would welcome working together to achieve the world-class officiating standards our league demands."
PGMOL are currently not commenting on Arsenal's statement, after being approached by Sky Sports News.
Arteta's fury with Newcastle's goal continued in his press conference.
"We have to talk about the result because we have to talk about how the hell this goal stands. It's incredible. I feel embarrassed," he said. "But I have to be the one coming now here to try to defend the club and please ask for help because it is an absolute disgrace this goal is allowed. It's an absolute disgrace.
"It's not a goal. For many reasons it's not a goal. For more than one reason it's not a goal. It's too much at stake. We put so much effort, it's so difficult to compete at this level, and it's an absolute disgrace. I feel embarrassed.
"I've been more than 20 years in this country, and this is nowhere near the level to describe this as the best league in the world. I am sorry."
Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya, who was criticised by the Sky Sports pundits for his part in the goal, told the club's official website: "What I could see was the ball went out of play, and then after going to the dressing room, looking back at the goal, it's a big foul on Gabi. He's pushing him with two hands on his back when he's about to clear the ball."
When it comes to the debate around whether or not the ball had gone out of play, there were no conclusive angles available.
As far as the challenge on Gabriel in the box, and whether or not Joelinton had committed a foul, FA rules indicate that a direct free-kick should be awarded if the referee considers that a player has committed an offence that would be deemed as careless, reckless or using excessive force. This covers breaches for things like trips, kicks and pushes.
In terms of the offside, FA rules state that a player is not in an offside position if level with the second-last opponent or the last two opponents.
On this occasion, VAR found there was no conclusive angles for a line to be drawn.
Sky Sports' Jamie Carragher: "There are lots of stills of the ball on the line or people saying on social media that the ball is out, but the camera angle we have here is not conclusive.
"I'm glad in some ways it's still been given. My first thought was that it was offside, mainly because it felt there was only one Arsenal player behind the two Newcastle players."
Sky Sports' Gary Neville: "It's whether this goes out. It's close. Very close. The curve of the ball... how can you even check that, I'm not sure? There's definitely gap between the white line and the ball.
Later on his podcast, Neville suggested the correct decision was made.
"There was no conclusive evidence that the ball went out, there was maybe conclusive evidence around the Joelinton one but even that was a struggle to see it in real-time from the angles we had," Neville said.
"We've got 30 cameras in the ground and Newcastle have found a way to evade all 30 cameras on all three instances.
"There was no conclusive evidence that the ball went out, there was maybe conclusive evidence around the Joelinton one but even that was a struggle to see it in real-time from the angles we had. And the offside, we got that through from Stockley Park that there was no conclusive evidence. They couldn't prove the timing of the last touch on the player, so if they can't prove those things you end up with a situation where there's no conclusive evidence."