Xhaka tactics turf more misery on frustrated Arteta

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Enterprise News and Pictures 6/3/21 Pic shows: Replay showing Arsenal's Nicholas Pepe flicking the ball up in the area and it accidentally hits the outstretched arm of Burnley defender Eric Pieters, and under the current rules it should really be a penalty, but VAR does not give it - new rules not yet implemented would not give it as it was accidental. However it was a lucky decision and Arsenal will feel hard done by in the lunchtime premier league football match today, shown live on BT Sport 1 HD. See story...

Granit Xhaka’s blunder turfed more misery on under pressure Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta after Aubameyang had put the gunners 1-0 up at Turf Moor today with a sweet and low drive into the bottom left hand corner of the Burnley net.

A poor pass in his own box by Xhaka took an unfortunate bounce off the midriff of Burnley defender Chris Wood and deviated goalbound into the net for an equaliser.

Granit Xhaka’s poor pass bounces off Burnley’s Chris Wood 

…and into the net

Arsenal faded in the second half after a promising start in the lunchtime premier league kick-off, which was televised live on BT Sport 1, before rallying late on where they were unlucky, striking the post and the bar.

They then had one penalty shout turned down by VAR when Nicholas Pepe flicked the ball up in the area and it struck the outstretched arm of Burnley defender Erik Pieters.

Pepe flicks the ball up in the box and it hits Pieters’ arm but VAR doesn’t give it

Although an accidental handball, Pieters arm was in an unnatural position outstretched, even though he didn’t mean to handle it. Under the current rules it should still have been a penalty because the new rules ruling out accidental handball that does not prevent a goal will not be implemented until the summer. However VAR looked at it and inexplicably didn’t give it.

Former Premier League referee Peter Walton was consulted in the studio and said he didn’t understand why it wasn’t given. Arsenal will justifiably feel hard done by.

Replay showing Arsenal’s Nicholas Pepe’s shot in the area hitting Burnley defender Eric Pieters on the top of the shoulder

Eric Pieters and Pepe were involved yet again in another penalty claim for Arsenal which was given this time and Pieters was shown the red card when Pepe’s goal bound shot appeared to hit Pieters on the arm on the line. This time VAR got the decision right and the red card was rescinded when replays clearly showed the ball struck the top of the defender’s shoulder and not the arm.

Burnley defender Eric Pieters explains the ball hit him on the shoulder 

After the game Burnley manager Sean Dyche told BBC Sport:  “We had to work very hard against a decent Arsenal side but the mentality of the players was outstanding. It is a third game in a week and the physical side of the game was tremendous.”

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta told BBC Match of the Day: “If you don’t score your big chances, if you give a goal to the opponent and you don’t’ get the referee’s decision when you need to it is very complicated in the Premier League to win a lot of games.”

Regarding the initial penalty shout, he said: “If the first one is not a penalty honestly someone has to come to the training ground and explain what a handball is. It cannot be any clearer.

“We hit the bar and the post, they cleared the ball off the line but they defend those situations well but it is down to us not getting the three points. The top teams sustain results and level through 10 months in this competition and you have to come here and win the game comfortably in my opinion.

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