ARSENAL were awarded a controversial penalty in their 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Friday night.
With the Gunners already 1-0 up thanks to a Thomas Partey finish, Alexandre Lacazette went down under a challenge from Matt Targett.
Alexandre Lacazette won the penalty after a challenge from Matt TargettCredit: Getty
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tucked away the rebound after originally missing the spot kickCredit: PA
Play continued and referee Craig Pawson appeared to blow for half-time.
However, he was later called to look at the VAR monitor and decided to award the Gunners a spot-kick.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw his effort saved by former Arsenal keeper Emi Martinez, before scoring on the rebound.
But confusion reigned on social media and in TV studio as many felt Pawson had blown for the break.
If that had been the case then Arsenal still would have been able to have a penalty – but Aubameyang would NOT have been allowed to score the rebound with the game effectively dead after the save.
SunSport have since been advised that Pawson did not blow for half-time and in fact called for a stoppage in play in a neutral zone so he could consult the monitor.
That news, however, had not appeared to have reached Dean Smith by the time he spoke to the media after the game.
The seething Aston Villa boss said: “It is a lower contact tackle. Grey areas, does he touch the ball first or his leg first?
“I thought they were the ones we were not going to VAR for. I am even wondering why he is allowed to put the rebound in.
“My understanding was he is walking off the pitch if he does not go to VAR, they cant give me any clarity on that.”
Arsenal dominated the first half in a 45-minute period that the visitors failed to get a hold of.
Partey scored his first Arsenal goal midway through the half, flicking home Emile Smith Rowe’s near-post corner.
And then the penalty incident doubled Arsenal’s lead on the stroke of half-time, but it really should have been more.
Partey could have had his first Arsenal goal minutes earlier when he volleyed a Bukayo Saka cross off the bar.
And then Saka should have had a goal himself when Nuno Tavares found him unmarked inside the box, only for the England international to be denied by the legs of Martinez.
Arsenal have not lost a game since they were beaten 5-0 by Manchester City at the end of August.
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