Arsenal vs Fulham
Sunday’s early Premier League kick-off sees Arsenal and Fulham go head-to-head.
Amid a fairly inconsistent season, the Gunners have little left to play for in the league, with a top-six finish looking extremely unlikely.
As such, with Arsenal now in the semi-finals of the Europa League, going all the way on the continent represents their best chance of securing European football for next season.
And this appears to be a thought process shared by Mikel Arteta, after he rested a number of key players on Sunday, with Bernd Leno and Thomas Partey both dropped to the bench.
VAR making headlines again
Despite missing some key players, Arsenal enjoyed a decent opening 45 minutes against Fulham, who were in desperate need of a win after Newcastle picked up a huge three points on Saturday to further extend their advantage over Scott Parker and co.
The hosts, though, nevertheless headed in at the break still searching for an opener, after Dani Ceballos saw his headed effort ruled out after VAR adjudged Bukayo Saka to have been offside in the build-up:
NO GOAL! Saka’s toe was just offside and VAR intervened. It’s the tightest of margins and Fulham survive!
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 18, 2021
The tight nature of the call, in turn, has since inevitably resulted in widespread chatter across social media, with Saka having hardly even been visibly offside.
Given the fact that VAR cannot pinpoint the exact second the ball leaves a player’s foot/head, ruling out goals due to such small margins therefore really doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Arsenal fans have been particularly vocal about VAR following the goal, as shown below.
But even Fulham moved to poke fun at the system on Twitter:
VAR intervenes, and an offside toenail keeps the score level.
— Fulham Football Club (@FulhamFC) April 18, 2021
If they scrapped VAR tomorrow, literally nobody would miss it.
— arseblog (@arseblog) April 18, 2021
I loathe VAR with a venomous rage bordering on murderous. pic.twitter.com/Jj0gqXteIz
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 18, 2021
Offsides like this can’t be decided by VAR. Saka’s toe is millimetres off and Lacazette is still making contact with the ball.
Who’s to say Saka wouldn’t be on before the ball leaves Laca’s head? The technology isn’t accurate enough to make this call. https://t.co/FAPYj49A4O
— Dan Critchlow (@afcDW) April 18, 2021
Arteta testing the squad depth with Elneny & Bellerin
Farcical decision from the VAR again. The goal would have been allowed if Saka had put on a smaller size of shoes
— Don Draper (@arsenalbarclays) April 18, 2021
Offside 🙄🤦♂ pic.twitter.com/sEH2l7KijR
— Daily Cannon (@DailyCannon) April 18, 2021
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
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