Arsenal and Mikel Arteta seem to have hit a speed breaker in their race for the Premier League title, as former Arsenal boss Unai Emery’s Aston Villa stand victorious against the Gunners on Saturday. The only goal at Villa Park in the 1-0 game came from John McGinn’s early strike, as the defeat pulled Arsenal down to second and a point off new league leaders Liverpool.
However, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was only left disappointed with a few refereeing decisions in a game where the Gunners failed to convert their chances: Douglas Luiz’s foul inside the penalty box and Kai Havertz’s goal, which was ruled a handball against him. Arteta believed that the calls were very “clear and obvious”.
Mikel Arteta talks on Douglas Luiz’s foul
Mikel Arteta has been involved with a lot of ‘referee talk’ this season, and the story followed against Aston Villa. In their match against Newcastle last month, Anthony Gordon’s goal was complained about by Arteta, only for it to be judged a correct call.
Referee Jared Gillett and the VAR refused to award Arsenal a penalty in the 47th minute when Gabriel Jesus was brought down by Douglas Luiz’s tackle in the penalty area, setting off an entertaining second half.
Arteta, who won the LFA Manager of the Year award recently, stated the foul to be “clear and obvious”. When asked about both fouls, Mikel Arteta said that he preferred not to comment and acknowledged Luiz’s foul was “even clearer” than that of Havertz’s handball. He further added that the calls were very obvious and that is all he could say.
Kai Havertz late equalizer disallowed
Although Arsenal would believe that the calls went unfairly against them, the performance did not showcase the Arsenal that people have been seeing this season. Arsenal were not at their best and failed to convert many chances during the game.
More controversy followed during the dying minutes of the game as Kai Havertz’s goal was disallowed for handball by the referee and VAR, meaning that Arsenal returned with no points from Villa. The ball had hit Havertz’s forearm before he forced it in, but many believe that it hit Aston Villa defender Matty Cash’s arm before and should have been a penalty.
Kai Havertz, who many believe to be a failed signing, has started featuring on the scoresheet recently while playing well in his new position after a slow start to the season.
Arsenal travel to play PSV Eindhoven in the midweek, followed by Brighton and Hove Albion on Saturday at the Emirates, where they will look to bounce back after being displaced from the top of the table.
Do you think Arsenal will finally end their league drought and win it this season? Let us know what you think in the comments.