The Arsenal v Manchester City game which opened the New Year fixtures was certainly a great way to begin 2022, with no shortage of incidents.
The Gunners might feel hard done by having dominated the game and not allowing City a shot on target in the first half, only to be undone at the death by a Rodri winner in injury-time.
Referee, Stuart Attwell, was, unfortunately, centre-stage after a few decisions appeared to alter the course of the game.
He waved away penalty appeals from the hosts when City’s goalkeeper, Ederson, appeared to take out Martin Odegaard, and that decision was ratified when the VAR refused to tell him to view the challenge on the monitor.
Replays would show that the Brazilian took a chunk of the young Norwegian as well as the ball and a spot-kick should’ve been awarded as a result.
This was then compounded in the second-half when VAR did intervene after Bernardo Silva claimed he was brought down by Gunners midfielder, Granit Xhaka.
Slow-motion replays clearly showed that the Arsenal man was having a tug at the Portuguese’s shirt, however he was already on the way down when Xhaka was doing so.
Sending off Gabriel was one of the decisions that he did get right, but when the performance of the official is still being talked about a day later, you know that something isn’t right.
TalkSPORT pundit, Gabriel Agbonlahor, even went as far as to suggest that the official was trying to make a statement and he was that card happy that everything was going in favour of Man City.
? “Did he have to send Gabriel off or did he want to make a statement? He was so card happy today!”
? “It looked one sided. Everything went in City’s favour…”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) January 2, 2022