Explain the Decision: Why didn’t Arsenal win a penalty for handball at Wigan?

You can understand the Gunners anger.

At the end of November Tottenham caused a major upset coming from 2-nil down at arch enemies Arsenal to win 3-2. The equaliser on that occasion was a penalty converted by Rafael van der Vaart which had been awarded after Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas had been punished for raising an arm in the wall when defending a Spurs free-kick. Having stopped the ball illegally the referee pointed to the spot. The Dutchman scored, and the rest is now history.

Fast forward to Wednesday night just passed and Arsenal found themselves wondering why they did not benefit from an almost identical situation at the DW Stadium.

After a thrilling all-action match against the Latics, 10-man Wigan rallied to 2-2 draw with the high-flying north Londoners. But moments before the final whistle, the Gunners had an opportunity to strike on goal as Samir Nasri lined up a free-kick.

Much like what happened during the Tottenham incident, Arsenal’s effort on target never got passed the wall as Tom Cleverley raised an arm. The ball struck the offending limb, deflected out of play, but incredibly no spot kick was awarded.

The apparent double standard was attacked by Cesc Fabregas on Twitter.

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Cesc: “Whats the diference between this handball & my 1 vs spurs? Referees dont want us to complain abt them but they make life dificult 4 themself…Im not complaining at all, im just saying why on the same thing some refs say its a pen and some not. Is it a rule or just what they feel?”

So, can anyone justify why Arsenal weren’t awarded a penalty?

The Arsenal penalty conceded against Tottenham can be seen here while the non-Arsenal penalty at Wigan can be seen here.

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