In Arsenal News, Mikel Arteta slammed two “scandalous” penalty decisions after Premier League leaders Arsenal were held to a goalless draw by Newcastle on Tuesday night.
Arsenal missed the chance to pull 10 points clear of Manchester City as third-placed Newcastle frustrated the hosts in a game of few clear-cut opportunities but plenty of heated moments at the Emirates Stadium.
Arteta felt his team first should have been awarded a penalty on the hour mark when Newcastle defender Dan Burn appeared to tug Gabriel’s shirt as he tried to meet a dangerous free-kick, before again raging on the touchline in stoppage time when Granit Xhaka’s cross hit Jacob Murphy’s arm.
Both appeals were waved away without a VAR interruption.
“They are two penalties, it’s very simple,” the Arsenal manager insisted to Sky Sports. “I’m talking about what I’ve seen, now, and it’s two scandalous penalties.”
Arteta was also adamant that Arsenal had “enough changes to win the game” despite only forcing one crucial save from goalkeeper Nick Pope, when Eddie Nketiah’s left-footed strike was kept out late on.
“I’m extremely proud of my players,” said the Spaniard. “The way we played, the way we dominated the game, the way we tried, the way we continued.
“We miss in the final third, we had so many situations and then we had two scandalous penalties.”
The more passionate of Arsenal’s penalty shouts was the handball claim on Murphy, with players surrounding referee Andy Madley and Arteta fuming to the fourth official, and counterpart Eddie Howe, on the touchline.
But responding to Arteta’s “scandalous” accusation, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville contested: “I thought it would have been scandalous if it was given!”
He added: “If Mikel Arteta had lost a game of football giving away a penalty like this, he’d have been absolutely fuming.
“The amount of times I used to slide in and try and block crosses – your arm has to be somewhere. You cannot have your arms by your side when you slide to block a shot. His arm’s not in the air.
“That is not a penalty, never in a million years.”
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