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Burnley handball explanation ‘incorrect’ against Arsenal, but VAR redeemed itself


Arsenal will wonder how on earth they only managed to come away with a point at Burnley on Saturday.

The Gunners took the lead but were pegged back by Chris Wood’s equaliser which came due to some calamitous play by Granit Xhaka.

Burnley got their equaliser after Xhaka made a complete hash of things

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Burnley got their equaliser after Xhaka made a complete hash of things

But should Arsenal have had a penalty in the 75th minute?

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But should Arsenal have had a penalty in the 75th minute?

Mikel Arteta’s men missed a catalogue of chances to find the winner, however as has been the case in so many Premier League matches, VAR took centre stage.

Nicolas Pepe and his Arsenal teammates pleaded with referee Andre Marriner as the ball struck Burnley defender Erik Pieters on the arm inside his own box.

Nothing was given by VAR either, with a Premier League official telling talkSPORT: “The ball has hit him from close proximity and he’s had no time to react. It wasn’t given on-field and the VAR didn’t think it was a clear error.”

Handball has been a hot topic this week and IFAB have recently announced changes to some handball laws, which will come into effect from July 1.

Trevor Sinclair believes this was a deliberate handball by Pieters

Trevor Sinclair believes this was a deliberate handball by Pieters

However, the timing of the announcement doesn’t sit well with talkSPORT’s Trevor Sinclair, who believes Arsenal were very hard done by at Turf Moor.

He said: “The way we’re changing rules in the season I think is wrong. It damages the Premier League brand, it damages the players.

“I think it’s frustrating for broadcasters and fans watching the game.

“I thought the Pieters handball was intentional. I thought his hand was away from the ball, I thought he was trying to anticipate the ball…

“He saw it as a danger and put his hand out. For me that is a stonewall penalty.

“The statement is incorrect because it’s not a shot, the ball isn’t moving quickly and he had plenty of time to get out of the way.”

VAR did intervene later in the game to overturn a penalty awarded to Arsenal after Pieters was sent off for handling on the line, as replays showed it hit the top of his shoulder.

Sinclair insists that was an example of how VAR can be good for the game after it got the earlier decision wrong.

“VAR did a perfect job on that occasion,” Sinclair added.

“That’s where there’s a clear and obvious error. That’s where we feel you get value from VAR.





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