Former Arsenal star Giovanni van Bronckhorst feels that very smart defending from Cedric Soares denied Leeds United a penalty.
The Gunners were in a comfortable position after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed his hat-trick to establish a four-goal lead.
Poor defending from a set-piece and a good move from Leeds saw them come back to 4-2 and the nerves started to show. Arsenal were put under pressure and the visitors had a huge penalty shout denied.
Patrick Bamford went down after he was blocked by Cedric inside the penalty area. The referee ignored all the appeals and VAR backed him, but many Leeds supporters felt that the decision had gone against them.
Van Bronckhorst, however, has claimed that Cedric’s defending was ‘very smart’ and the referee’s decision to wave play on was absolutely the right one.
He told Stadium Astro: “He (Cedric) just goes in front of him, so I think it’s very smart defending.
“To stop his run, you are allowed to run in front of the attacker to block the run as long as you don’t foul him, so I think for me it was not a penalty. VAR decided the same. I think it was very good defending from Soares.”
Arsenal Insider’s view:
This really is a difficult one, isn’t it? If it had gone against us, we’d be fuming but if it was one of our attackers in Bamford’s place and we were denied a penalty, we’d have a go at the referee as well.
Cedric smartly got in between Bamford and the ball and the Leeds striker’s barged into the Arsenal man and went to ground.
Since Cedric didn’t get the ball, an argument can be made about a penalty, but the Portuguese international will argue that Bamford ran into him and not the other way around. The decision could’ve gone either way but for once, we were given the benefit of the doubt.
A goal there could have made things really tense at the end, but with the way the game went, you have to agree that Arsenal were the better side and deserved to win irrespective of the incident in the second half.