The 57th minute of this afternoon’s Premier League encounter between Aston Villa and Arsenal, controversy struck when Alexandre Lacazette and ex-Gunners ace Emi Martinez tussled in the box.
Lacazette darted across his former teammate as a corner was sent in from right flank, this sparked a coming together in which Martinez quite apparently dragged the striker down to the floor.
With plenty of Arsenal fans awaiting a penalty… a free-kick to Aston Villa was awarded, with Lacazette immediately substituted for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after.
Some Arsenal fans are convinced that Martinez was ‘pulling’ Lacazette in the incident, which marks yet another decision that has gone against the Gunners in a nightmare week of action.
A compilation of decisions that have gone against Mikel Arteta’s side recently emerged after the sending off of David Luiz in the defeat to Wolves, with the Brazilian also seeing an appeal questionably rejected.
Chris Kavanagh was the man in charge of the action this afternoon, with the referee previously sending off Emile Smith Rowe this season in the FA Cup tie against Newcastle after a VAR review.
Kavanagh was also in the middle of that controversial decision that saw Eddie Nketiah sent off against Leicester last season.
See More: Video: Arsenal star Nicolas Pepe left floored and stunned after ball hits face against Aston Villa
— ? David Appleby ? (@ybelppa) February 6, 2021
This is a foul on Martinez apparently. ???? pic.twitter.com/ABbB3E8bfB
— NepentheZ (@NepentheZ) February 6, 2021
Pictures from BT Sport.
Here’s how some of the Arsenal faithful have reacted to the moment:
Hi @FA, could you please explain why VAR didn’t pick up the officials clear and obvious error, giving Villa a Free-Kick after Martínez pulls Lacazette down?
Yet another “mistake” against Arsenal.
— Dean (@DeanJamesAFC) February 6, 2021
That’s a stonewall penalty no? Or just me didn’t Martinez just drag Laca to the floor then?
— Luke (@Petitsponytail1) February 6, 2021
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) February 6, 2021
Martinez drags down lacazette but apparently Martinez is fouled?
— Joe (@AFCJoe10) February 6, 2021
Foul against Arsenal for Emi Martínez with a handful of Lacazette’s shirt. Should have been a penalty. Officials cheating again. pic.twitter.com/j36W7nT1km
— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) February 6, 2021
Partey booked for nothing, Lacazette fouled by Martinez and the foul goes for them, should have been a pen… Worst referees in the world
— Sebastian AFC (@sebas8santos) February 6, 2021
No mention of Martinez pulling down Lacazette in the penalty area. Laca asks for VAR to check it and the referee tells him to get off the pitch because he’s being subbed! ?????? ?? #AFC #Arsenal #AVLARS
— MPayne ? (@Payno04) February 6, 2021
Amid all the controversy, warranted or not, Joshua Jones came up with the most logical explanation:
Both players are committing fouls though. Lacazette knows what he’s doing running across/into Martinez. Goalkeepers always get the decision in instances like that.
— Joshua Jones (@joshuapsjones) February 6, 2021
As far as the commentary team and the visual proceedings on the pitch showed as well, VAR was surprisingly left unused when this moment arose.
Do you think Arsenal were robbed with this decision? Let us know your opinions on the matter in the comments below…