'I don’t understand it' - Bournemouth boss slams two VAR mistakes which cost his team vs Arsenal

AFC Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola
AFC Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola -Credit:BBC

AFC Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola has slammed VAR officials for two mistakes either side of half time which cost his team against Arsenal.

The Gunners took the lead on the stroke of halftime after referee David Coote awarded a penalty for a foul on Kai Havertz. VAR checked the decision and stuck with the on-field decision.

Bukayo Saka capitalised on this to convert the spot-kick. Leandro Trossard added a second with 20 minutes to go but the Cherries thought they had been handed a lifeline when Antoine Semenyo scored but Coote blew for a foul by Dominic Solanke on David Raya which left Bournemouth infuriated considering they believed Philip Billing was fouled before Solanke decision.

Ultimately, the on-field decision was stuck with and Arsenal wrapped up the three points in stoppage time through Declan Rice. Speaking to Match of the Day at full time, an annoyed Iraola lamented the officials' decisions.

He said: "I think Arsenal deserved to win today. I think they were better than us in the first half and they pushed us a lot.

"We defended quite decent, we survived until the penalty decision in the first half but we were not happy with the performance. In the second half, we were much better."

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Addressing the Haverz penalty first, Iraola explained: "I think it is not a penalty. I think Havertz is smart and tries to find the contact, he gets the contact and probably the VAR thinks there is contact and it is not a penalty but it is not clear and obvious so we are not going to overturn it.

"But for me, when you see it, that is not a penalty." While the Spanish coach could understand that decision, he was perplexed with the second half call against his side.

"This one is much more clear for me," he concluded. "They had two chances [to get it right].

"You have got the penalty to Philip Billing before the goal or he just gives the goal. I think what you cannot do is call the foul from Dominic Solanke.

"The penalty for Philip Billing happens just in front of them and then afterwards that foul (Solanke’s) is much softer and I don’t understand it because I have been watching and I am thinking it is a penalty or a goal.

"But for me, I have to admit they deserved to beat us today, they were better than us but I don’t think what has gone their way should have because these were key moments.

"Just before half time and when we were playing well, having chances and pushing them. If we had scored there had been a lot of minutes to play at 2-1 so, obviously, I don’t agree with the referee today."