Every controversial decision in an Arsenal game this season – and whether the referee got it right

Every controversial decision in an Arsenal game this season – and whether the referee got it right

Omar Hamouda is a qualified level 5 referee based in London and Dubai.

Referees have the toughest job in football; any mistake attracts intense scrutiny and some will never be forgotten by supporters and club staff.

The 2016/17 Premier League season has once again seen many high-profile mistakes made by match officials, and there were certainly many over the weekend just gone – with Arsene Wenger, in particular, not happy with the refereeing at the Ethiad.

Therefore I’ve dissected every controversial decision in a Premier League game involving Arsenal this season, determining whether it was the right call or not.

Arsenal 2-1 Southampton

Key weakness: Lack of cutting edge up front

Incident: Shane Long is tripped up and Arsenal go on to win a penalty

Outcome: No free-kick for Long and penalty to Arsenal

I’ve decided to go through two incidents in one here with both at the Emirates back in September very closely related.

Shane Long was trying to hold up the ball when he fell to the ground right under the watchful eye of the linesman. However, nothing was given and Arsenal went on the attack looking for a winner.

Replays, however, showed Long was caught on his achilles and a free-kick should have been awarded to Southampton.

There was more bad luck for the visitors just seconds later when Olivier Giroud won a penalty for the Gunners, with the decision appearing extremely harsh.

The France international had his shirt grabbed inside the box by Jose Fonte, although there was also pulling from the striker on the 32-year-old as well.

Giroud then appears to fall over Fonte’s body when the centre-back himself collapses. Fonte even took to Instagram that weekend revealing Giroud had asked the defender seconds later who had actually conceded the penalty, such was his surprise.

Verdict: Free-kick for Long and no penalty to Arsenal

Burnley 0-1 Arsenal

Koscielny Arsenal

Incident: Laurent Koscielny scores the winner for Arsenal against Burnley

Outcome: Goal given

Arsenal’s winner against Burnley at the start of October should quite simply have not stood.

Laurent Koscielny committed an obvious handball which led to the Gunners snatching all three points late on at Turf Moor.

There was also the case of offside after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain got a touch to the ball before it came off Koscielny – then in an offside position – and found the back of the net.

Many also questioned the fact that the match had gone past the time added by Craig Pawson, but ‘injury-time’ is once again at the referee’s discretion and there are no rules which state he has to end it at the exact second he had initially added.

An excuse for Pawson for not seeing the handball was that Boyd was in the line of his sight, but the offside should have been picked up by his linesman.

Verdict: Offside and free-kick awarded OR handball and free-kick, if referee had deemed it deliberate

Arsenal 3-2 Swansea City

Granit Xhaka

Incident: Granit Xhaka is sent off for bringing down Modou Barrow

Outcome: Red card

Xhaka’s fourth red card since the start of the 2015/16 season was perhaps a debatable one back in October.

There was initial surprise when Jon Moss sent Xhaka off for bringing down Modou Barrow in Swansea’s half. However, when looking back on it, you can see why Moss decided to show a red.

If it was a simple trip or pull I would have supported the yellow, but it was lunge at an opponent and one that endangered the safety of Barrow.

It can’t have been a lunge at the ball as it was nowhere near, so you can see why Moss gave it for serious foul play.

Verdict: Correct decision

Sunderland 1-4 Arsenal

READ MORE: Alexis Sanchez says Arsenal will "leave everything on the pitch" vs Spurs

Incident: Lamine Kone brings down Alexis Sanchez inside the penalty area

Outcome: Nothing given

Martin Atkinson made the correct call in giving Sunderland a penalty back in October when Duncan Watmore was brought down by Petr Cech, but there was a mistake just a minute before.

Arsenal should have been given the opportunity to make it 2-0, when Alexis Sanchez was pulled back by Lamine Kone inside the box.

It was quite bizarre how Atkinson failed to award anything. Fortunately for him and the Gunners, they went on to win the game rather comfortably

Verdict: Penalty awarded and yellow card

Manchester United 1-1 Arsenal

Valencia Monreal

Incident: Nacho Monreal appears to bring down Antonio Valencia

Outcome: Nothing given

Arsenal got away with one when they faced Manchester United at Old Trafford in November, after Nacho Monreal appeared to bring down Antonio Valencia inside the penalty area.

Nothing was given and whilst Juan Mata went on to open the scoring for the hosts anyway, they could have done with taking an earlier lead after Olivier Giroud ended up equalising at the death.

Verdict: Penalty to Manchester United

Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth

monreal wilson

Incident: Callum Wilson wins a penalty after a clash with Nacho Monreal

Outcome: Penalty given

This was an interesting call by referee Mike Jones as he awarded Bournemouth a penalty in their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal recently.

With the score at 1-0, a loose ball in the box was pounced on by both Monreal and Wilson, with the pair coming together and Jones in turn pointing to the penalty spot.

Initially, it seemed like the right call, but replays suggest it should have actually been a foul against the Bournemouth striker.

A goal-kick could have been the alternative call, with the two players simply colliding together. Either way, it was the wrong call to give a spot-kick.

Verdict: Free-kick to Arsenal

Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth

Arsenal v AFC Bournemouth - Premier League

Incident: Nacho Monreal handballs Simon Francis’ through ball

Outcome: Nothing given

Another incident in the Arsenal and Bournemouth game came under scrutiny.

When the ball is played into an opponent at close range it is always hard for referees to give penalties. However, Monreal – who was unfortunate with the first-half call from referee Jones that day – was very lucky to get away with the second.

The Spaniard was extremely clumsy with both his arms raised as he back-peddled inside his box. Bournemouth defender Simon Francis was not trying to win a penalty and his through ball was making its way through to a teammate, but Monreal’s arm did not allow that.

It was a tough call for Jones nonetheless, with the official not 100% sure if it was intentional.

Verdict: Penalty to Bournemouth

Arsenal 3-1 Bournemouth

sanchez arter

Incident: Alexis Sanchez brings down Bournemouth’s Harry Arter

Outcome: Free-kick and yellow card to Sanchez

It is very rare that tackles are committed from behind these days by players, but Alexis Sanchez delivered a rather astonishing attempt at bringing down Bournemouth’s Harry Arter during that game in the capital.

Jones spotted the tackle and booked Sanchez for it with the 28-year-old clipping Arter from behind.

However, when looking at replays, the tackle is actually quite severe – Sanchez rakes his studs down Arter’s achilles, with the midfielder’s ankle even rolling over as a result.

It was an injury which could have been much worse for Arter and Sanchez was fortunate to escape a red that day.

Verdict: Free-kick and red card

Arsenal 3-1 Stoke City

Granit Xhaka - 5/10

Incident: Granit Xhaka brings down Stoke City’s Joe Allen

Outcome: Penalty given and yellow card to Xhaka

Arsenal fans and Arsene Wenger were not happy when Stoke City were awarded a spot-kick ten days ago at the Emirates.

However, looking at the replays Granit Xhaka was clumsy at best and clattered into Stoke midfielder Joe Allen, despite initially getting the ball ahead of the Wales international.

Verdict: Correct decision

Everton 2-1 Arsenal

Everton Arsenal goal

Incident: Everton win a corner shortly before Ashley Williams’ winner

Outcome: Everton win another corner, with Williams scoring from it

There was so much that happened before Ashley Williams scored the winner for Everton against Arsenal last week, that Arsene Wenger was wrong to criticise the referee after the game.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin went to head the ball from a Leighton Baines free-kick in the 84th minute, but it hit his shoulder and went out.

However, a corner was surprisingly awarded and after Phil Jagielka’s effort was tipped behind by Petr Cech, Everton scored from the following corner. Arsenal had a number of chances to clear their lines, but it was still the wrong decision initially.

Verdict: Wrong decision for the first corner, goal-kick awarded to Arsenal

Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal

Manchester City's Leroy Sane scores their first goal

Incident: Leroy Sane scores the opening goal for Manchester City

Outcome: Goal given

Arsene Wenger was furious after the 2-1 defeat to Manchester City on Sunday, with both goals for the hosts appearing to be offside in his eyes.

Leroy Sane opens the scoring for the hosts after a slipped through ball from David Silva, but there were suggestions that the German was marginally offside.

However, there was quite literally an inch in the decision and the linesman was right to give the Germany international the benefit of the doubt.

Verdict: Correct decision

Manchester City 2-1 Arsenal

Raheem Sterling scored with one of his four shots vs Arsenal

Incident: Raheem Sterling scores the winner against Arsenal

Outcome: Goal given

The second decision which Wenger was angry with was Raheem Sterling’s winner on Sunday, after the winger’s shot beat Petr Cech at the near post.

Cech and Wenger both complained after the game that David Silva had obstructed the goalkeeper’s view whilst he was in an offside position, but replays show Silva was quite clearly not in line with Cech.

Verdict: Correct decision