Arsenal ‘let down’ by VAR again as Howard Webb urged into action
Arsenal were “let down” by VAR during Saturday’s dramatic Premier League win over Bournemouth, according to former Premier League referee Graham Poll.
Reiss Nelson scored a last-gasp winner to maintain the Gunners’ five-point lead over Manchester City as Mikel Arteta’s came from behind at the Emirates Stadium.
The hosts conceded the quickest goal in the Premier League this season when Philip Billing scored within the opening nine seconds of the game.
Scoring straight from kick-off is something Bournemouth have exploited a number of times over the past few years, including against Fulham in the Championship last season.
Still, Poll believes the goal should not have stood.
A number of Bournemouth players appeared to have entered Arsenal’s half before kick-off and Poll believes referee Chris Kavanagh and his officials should have spotted them.
“VAR once again appeared to let Arsenal FC down again on Saturday as both the on field referee, Chris Kavanagh, and his colleagues at Stockley Park failed to punish the FACT that a number of Bournemouth players were in the opposing half before the kick off at the start of the match,” Poll told BettingSites.co.uk.
Arsenal score late winners
“Kavanagh should have seen the encroachment and ordered the kick off to be retaken long before Bournemouth got into the Arsenal penalty area.
“This happens in a vast number of games but a goal does not follow within 10 seconds and so the offence goes unnoticed and unpunished.
“Had the player who encroached the most, Antoine Semenyo (Bournemouth number 24), been the player who scored there could well have been an intervention by VAR but with Howard Webb now in charge we will only see less technical offences that are missed being corrected.
“Had the game finished 0-1 there could have been more criticism but that’s how luck plays a massive part in a referee’s career.
“But it didn’t and if, like me, you want your football games to flow, you would applaud Webb’s approach; however I do expect him to have a word in Kavanagh’s ear to be more vigilant at set pieces.”