Sunday’s Premier League meeting between Manchester United and Arsenal was the weekend’s box office reality, and we got more questionable performances and outrage online as VAR stole the headlines once again.
The Gunners had enjoyed an excellent first half and looked to have taken the lead when Gabriel Martinelli broke through the United defense and slotted his chance into the far corner.
However, in a weekend full of criticism of the referees in England, the goal was overturned with the help of a video assistant referee.
Martinelli was thrilled with his strike, finishing calmly on the counter after the Gunners had relinquished possession.
However, VAR graphics soon began playing on the television screens at Old Trafford as assistant video referee Lee Mason instructed field official Paul Tierney to take a closer look at a possible breakdown in the build-up.
The coming together between Martin Odegaard and Christian Eriksen was a questionable incident, with the Norwegian seemingly bundled onto the Dane from behind without the ball. The goal was eventually disallowed due to a foul.
Such decisions have been touched off and overturned in recent weeks, with the level of work in the Premier League drawing heavy criticism over some debatable calls on Saturday.
The decision received a mixed reaction from online punters.
One half was watching with the official, noting that Tierney was standing next to Odegaard and Eriksson when the incident occurred and did not blow the whistle for the foul. However, many others pointed to other calls this weekend that have been overturned by VAR for less.
It was a bit of a hammer blow for Arsenal, who would go behind early in Sunday’s clash as Antony headed into the far corner on his debut for the opening goal.
Gabriel Martinelli has the ball in the Arsenal net, but after the referee visited the review area, Paul Tierney overturned a foul on Christian Eriksen.
Stillman United 0-0 Arsenal (11 mins) #MUNARS
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 4, 2022
So much against the run of play, but that’s football.
VAR generous for United on Martinelli’s goal.
Now to answer the other half.
— arseblog (@arseblog) September 4, 2022
It was soft! Should have been a Martinelli goal…#FPL #FPLCommunity #VAR
— Fitz (@FPLFitzy) September 4, 2022
Brilliant pass Saka, brilliant finish Martinelli.
VAR has ruled out goals for Kim this weekend, so no big surprise.
United are lucky though. Eriksen minimal contact, probably initiated by him + the referee made the call in real time. #MUFC
— Laurie Whitwell (@lauriewhitwell) September 4, 2022
Why I hate VAR and it’s not because I’m an angry Arsenal fan: The foul that disallowed Martinelli’s goal happened *right in front of the referee*. If he didn’t see a foul there, he didn’t see a foul. #VARout #MUNARS
— Alistair Coleman (@alistaircoleman) September 4, 2022
Martin Odegaard apparently used his hands to push Christian Eriksen in the back. It’s hard to argue with the goal being produced by VAR. No purpose. Beautiful games from Bocayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli, though. #MUFC 0-0 #AFC #MUNARS
— Joe Prince Wright (@JPW_NBCSports) September 4, 2022