We witnessed a classic Premier League fixture at the weekend, as Arsenal took on Manchester United. It is a game that is no stranger to controversy – Sunday’s match was no exception to this rule.
In the 60th minute of the match between the two bitter rivals, Arsenal were awarded a penalty after Aaron Wan-Bissaka brought down Kai Havertz in the area.
Despite this, after reviewing the footage on VAR, referee Anthony Taylor reversed his decision and chose to not give Arsenal a penalty.
On Sky Sports News, after the dust had settled, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher was asked for his opinion on the call – let’s take a look at what he had to say on the matter.
What did Gallagher say regarding the incident?
On Sky Sports News after the game, Gallagher said: “I think so [that it was not a penalty]. Hand on heart when I saw that yesterday I thought ‘penalty’. When I saw the second replay, I changed my mind. 100%.
“For me, I thought he tripped him, when I saw the replay, once Wan-Bissaka places his foot Havertz goes into him. I think the right decision was come to and that’s what we want.”
How crucial was the call in the outcome of Arsenal vs Manchester United?
Ultimately, the decision to not award Arsenal a penalty had no bearing on the outcome of the game, as the Gunners scored two late goals in added time to win by a score of 3-1.
On the day, Marcus Rashford struck first, only for Arsenal to respond just a minute later through Martin Odegaard – in added time, strikes from Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus gave the Gunners the three points.
Had Arsenal not won the game in stoppage time, this call would likely have been a much bigger point of conversation. United were also denied a penalty late on, when their star summer signing, Rasmus Hojlund, was brought down in the penalty area.
Like the challenge on Havertz, however, Anthony Taylor decreed that it was not a foul and allowed the play to continue. In this instance, he did not initially call for a penalty.