Mikel Arteta claimed in his press conference yesterday that he believes referee Paul Tierney was wrong to not award Arsenal star Bukayo Saka a penalty yesterday.
The Gunners were convincingly beaten by Chelsea, not one Arsenal fan will dispute that. The Blues dominated us, especially in the first half, while although we tried to get back into the game after the break, their two-goal cushion allowed them to slow the pace down to their liking.
It was a fairly comfortable win for Chelsea and Arsenal can have no complaints. However, if there’s one thing Gooners can dispute, it was the penalty shout on Bukayo Saka that referee Tierney completely ignored.
Arteta: Saka should’ve got a penalty
Nicolas Pepe nutmegged Cesar Azpilicueta brilliantly to find Bukayo Saka inside the box. The teenager was completely taken out of the game by Reece James, and it looked like a clear penalty at first glance. Referee Tierney, however, decided otherwise.
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Arteta was asked if Saka should’ve won a penalty and the Arsenal boss issued a blunt response. He said, as per Arsenal.com: “Yes. Clear (penalty).”
Did referee Tierney make a mistake?
The new laws released by the PGMOL state, as per ESPN, that for an incident to qualify as a penalty, four factors have to be considered:
– The referee should look for contact and establish clear contact
– Ask if that contact by the defender has a consequence
– Has the attacker used that contact to try and win a foul or penalty?
– Contact alone is not sufficient
In Saka’s situation, there was clear contact, the contact resulted in the player not going through on goal, the attacker did not try to win anything, and since contact alone isn’t sufficient, the fact that James had no intention to play the ball makes it clear that it should’ve been a penalty.
The referee and the VAR saw just one angle which made it look like it was Saka who kicked James. As a result, it was ruled as a standard coming together, which is baffling as the VAR had many more angles and a lot of time to assess the situation more carefully.
Sadly, it wasn’t the case, but we all know what would’ve happened if the same incident occurred in the opposite box.