It was a good day in the office for Arsenal against Leeds United on Sunday. The Gunners started the game brilliantly and were 4-0 up before the 50th minute.
Leeds dragged the game back to 4-2 but the damage was done and Arsenal were the deserved winners. We could’ve scored at least three goals more to cause further damage and we definitely deserved a penalty.
Bukayo Saka was brought down by Liam Cooper in the 33rd minute of the game. The referee pointed to the spot but VAR urged him to have a second look. He then overturned his original decision for no apparent reason.
Cooper initiated contact with Saka and completely missed the ball. The young Englishman lost his balance and went to ground, and although the contact was minimal, it was there and it should have been a penalty.
Mikel Arteta certainly felt so. He said after the game: “I was looking on the TV and I thought that it was a clear penalty. And considering the penalties that have been given against us, I thought it was going to be a penalty and probably a red card because we’ve had the same decision against us.” (Arsenal.com)
The Independent claim that Arteta and Arsenal’s bench were screaming at the referee to send Cooper off. It is claimed that the Gunners feel that the foul was very similar to David Luiz’s against Wolves, and the Brazilian saw red then.
Once again, things didn’t go our way but thankfully, it didn’t cost us the game like it has on multiple occasions in the past.
Arsenal Insider’s view
There is no doubt that Arsenal have been on the wrong end of multiple decisions this season. If Luiz had committed the foul Cooper did, his reputation might have forced a penalty and a red card, just like it did against Wolves.
The referee took the completely different approach last night and the lack of consistency is really shocking. The Premier League is the best competition in the world, and the fact that the standard of refereeing is this bad makes it a real shame.
A red card for Cooper would have been very harsh – like it was on Luiz. However, it should have been a penalty and the referee – after initially making the right decision – used modern-day technology to get it completely wrong.