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Mikel Arteta criticizes VAR decision in Everton defeat

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal slumped to their 13th Premier League defeat of the season as they lost 1-0 to Everton on Friday. Speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Mikel Arteta rued the decision made by VAR to overturn a penalty that had been awarded to the Gunners.

For the most part, the North Londoners looked more likely to score but the resolute defence of the Toffees prevented that from happening. The deadlock was finally broken in the 76th minute when Bernd Leno let a cross from Richarlison slip through his legs and into the goal.

One of the more notable moments of the game was the penalty that was given when Richarlison tackled Dani Ceballos. But that was ultimately overturned when Nicolas Pepe was found to have been offside in the build up to that move. When asked about this, Arteta told Sky Sports:

“This has been building up. Enough is enough. Today I have had enough. We’ve had many of them that nobody explains. It affects a lot of people, our job and most importantly our football club. What they [the match officials] do is behind the telephone. That’s what I cannot understand.”

What irked the manager was the duration between the Ivorian being offside and the actual challenge that was made. The Spaniard added:

“We were the better team but there are certain decisions that we can’t control. To disallow a penalty 15 seconds before – [we had] eight or nine touches [after Nicolas Pepe was offside] – I saw it 10 times and I don’t get it. It can be taken the way they want. Zero control. Somebody has to explain that.”

The North London club are now nine points behind fourth-placed Chelsea and finishing among the Champions League places looks unlikely at the moment. There were also some positives to be taken from this game as most of the players put in decent shifts, offering some consolation. But the lack of a cutting edge ended up proving to be costly.

Arsenal and Arteta need to regroup and focus on the next game which is even more important. They will be in action on Thursday as they face Villarreal in the first leg of the Europa League semi-finals. Losing to Everton is not ideal but a win against Spanish team should makeup for the loss.

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