An explanation for the VAR ruling that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s missed penalty versus Norwich had to be retaken has emerged online.
Arsenal’s Emery-less era begins
Arsenal are currently locked in action with Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The clash came as the Gunners’ first on the back of Unai Emery’s long-anticipated sacking earlier this week.
Club legend Freddie Ljungberg, now interim Arsenal boss, took the reins for this afternoon’s proceedings, with Per Mertesacker the Swede’s right-hand man.
The early exchanges, to the visitors’ credit, did see Arsenal look reinvigorated, with the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang all heavily involved.
However, it didn’t take long for the north Londoners’ long-standing defensive issues to come to the fore once more.
A Norwich break with 20 minutes on the clock saw Teemu Pukki cut inside, before the hitman’s deflected effort left the wrong-footed Bernd Leno with no chance.
VAR in the headlines
Arsenal, though, quickly fought their way back into things.
A devilish Mesut Ozil free-kick into the Norwich box just minutes later saw Christoph Zimmermann needlessly handle the ball, resulting in the away side being awarded a penalty-kick.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang stepped up to take responsibility from the spot, but saw his subsequent effort well saved by Tim Krul.
VAR-based controversy, though, soon reined once more.
Upon replays being shown, it quickly became evident that a whole host of players had encroached before Aubameyang’s penalty had been struck.
As such, the spot-kick was retaken, with Aubameyang having gone on to convert with aplomb.
Aubameyang misses a penalty for Arsenal – but retakes due to encroachment… and slots it away for 1-1
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) December 1, 2019
Many, though, immediately made their frustrations with the decision to award Arsenal a 2nd opportunity from the spot clear.
Among these were the likes of Gary Neville and Gary Lineker:
That’s a disgrace !
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) December 1, 2019
Gotta love VAR 🤦🏻♂️
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) December 1, 2019
The Premier League, though, have since provided an explanation for exactly why VAR’s call was the correct one.
As outlined below, it was Max Aarons who cleared the ball after Tim Krul had saved Aubameyang’s initial penalty.
GOAL Norwich 1-1 Arsenal (29 mins)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang levels for Arsenal with a retaken penalty following consultation with the VAR, due to encroachment by Max Aarons#NORARS
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 1, 2019
Aarons was one of a number of players to have been guilty of encroachment before the ball was struck.
As such, it was Norwich, and not Arsenal, who gained an advantage from the penalty rules being broken, due to the Canaries stopper getting to the ball first following Krul’s save.
If Aubameyang’s first spot-kick had found the net, meanwhile, by the rules, it would also have been retaken, due to Arsenal players encroaching.
Norwich have since gone on to retake the lead, courtesy of Todd Cantwell.