LONDON: Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta accused the officials of “changing the rules” and said Brentford’s equaliser against the Premier League leaders in Saturday’s 1-1 draw should have been disallowed for offside.
Arteta was left fuming when Ivan Toney’s controversial header cancelled out a first Arsenal goal for Leandro Trossard at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners lost at struggling Everton last week and their latest setback leaves them six points clear of second-placed Manchester City as the title race heats up.
City host Aston Villa on Sunday before the champions travel to Arsenal on Wednesday for a crucial showdown.
Aware of the mounting pressure on his team, who recently lost to City in the FA Cup, Arteta was visibly frustrated by Toney’s dubious leveller.
The goal was allowed to stand despite a lengthy VAR check for a potential offside against Ethan Pinnock.
“I just looked back and it is offside, yes,“ Arteta said. “The action when you get blocked when you are offside. You cannot block if you are offside.
“I’m hoping the cameras and the visuals, maybe it looks like there were two actions. I don’t know. It’s too late, it’s fine, the goal was allowed and we dropped two points.
“I’m saying the second one (an offside call against Christian Norgaard) — I don’t know because you have to see the line the way they see it with the cameras. I don’t know. It’s irrelevant. It’s gone.”
Arteta plans to speak to Premier League chiefs about an incident which could be a significant moment in Arsenal’s bid to win the title for the first time since 2004.
“We always assess the game with them (the Premier League) and we give our views and our points. But it’s too late,“ Arteta said.
“They will probably give an explanation later in the week. Today we haven’t got one.
“You have to apply certain principles in defending and you do that by sticking to the rules, suddenly you change the rules and then you have to change your principles.
“So tell us before so then you don’t hide the line that high, because you’re always going to have an advantage if you get blocked.” -AFP