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Mikel Arteta questions VAR usage after another controversial decision against Arsenal 

Mikel Arteta has questioned the use of VAR after another decision cost Arsenal a goal against West Ham on Thursday

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta
Image credit: Getty Images

Mikel Arteta has expressed severe dissatisfaction with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system following a contentious decision that allowed West Ham’s opening goal to stand in a disappointing 2-0 defeat against the Hammers.

Arteta’s squad found themselves trailing under controversial circumstances in the 13th minute as Jarrod Bowen delivered a pass from the byline to Tomas Soucek, who netted confidently. However, television replays suggested the ball had crossed the line before the assist.

Despite an extensive VAR review, there was deemed insufficient evidence to overturn the on-field decision made by referee Michael Oliver. This decision left Arsenal facing an uphill battle. Konstantinos Mavropanos, a former Gunners defender, compounded their struggles by doubling West Ham’s lead with a textbook header after halftime, effectively securing the win well before Said Benrahma missed a late penalty.

Speaking to Amazon Prime Sport post-match, Arteta voiced his uncertainty about the validity of West Ham’s initial goal, stating, “I don’t know, I have not seen it. Is the technology good enough to understand what it is and that is probably the question, but I have not seen it. We all want the best technology possible so the decisions are clear and today it was inconclusive with the technology that we have, so it’s something we can improve.”

Despite feeling that his team deserved more from the game, Arteta acknowledged West Ham’s efficiency in capitalising on chances and solid defensive play. 

He emphasised the disparity in effectiveness between the boxes, remarking, “They had two shots, scored two goals. We had 30 shots and did not score a single goal and we had great chances. I have nothing for the players because you have to praise the players because they tried everything.”

Arsenal heads into the final round of fixtures in 2023 trailing Liverpool by two points in the Premier League standings, Arteta expressed the team’s eagerness to regain the top spot swiftly to overcome the disappointment of the West Ham defeat, affirming, “We want to be better, we want to be top of the league.”

“Today, obviously, we are disappointed because we had the effort and the amount of dominance we had in the game, but this only happens in football.”

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