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Arsenal legend disagrees with Mikel Arteta and Martin Odegaard on key decision in Man United loss

Mikel Arteta and Martin Odegaard were wrong to complain about referee Paul Tierney disallowing Gabriel Martinelli’s Arsenal goal against Manchester United on Sunday, according to former striker Ian Wright.

The Gunners thought they had taken the lead at Old Trafford when Brazilian forward Martinelli found the net, but after consulting the pitch-side monitor on the advice of the video assistant referee, Tierney deemed Odegaard’s pressure of Christian Eriksen which saw the ball won back was firm enough to be deemed a foul.

The goal was ruled out and United suddenly took the lead through new signing Antony, with Marcus Rashford subsequently scoring twice to secure the three points after Bukayo Saka had briefly equalised for the away side.

Manager Arteta and captain Odegaard aired their displeasure with the decision in their post-match interviews, complaining that the challenge was too soft to be given as foul.

But Wright, who scored 185 goals for Arsenal in seven years in the 1990s, disagrees with both men.

‘People will sit there and say oh in my day [it wouldn’t be given],’ Wright said on Match on the Day 2. ‘In this day, that is a foul. I didn’t see that bit because I was so excited about this bit [Martinelli’s finish]. But when I saw it [the replay] I straight away thought they are going to give that.

The VAR system came in for plenty of criticism over the weekend, with both West Ham United and Aston Villa having seemingly valid goals ruled out after interventions in their respective matches against Chelsea and Manchester City.

But for Wright, VAR should not have been needed to disallow the Martinelli goal.

‘Even though they [VAR] had a complete nightmare on Saturday I couldn’t see them not giving that. I don’t think he even needed to go to VAR for it, he should have seen that straight off the bat.

 

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