Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang expressed his disbelief on social media after a challenge from Liverpool’s Trent Alexander-Arnold escaped further review from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), during the Gunners’ surprise win against the new Premier League champions.
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Aubameyang started on the bench as Arsenal defeated the visitors 2-1 at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening. Mikel Arteta’s side capitalised on two uncharacteristic errors from Liverpool. However, Arsenal’s number 14 was left concerned with a possible mistake from the officials after the match.
Just minutes after half time – with Arsenal leading 2-1 – Alexander-Arnold appeared to catch the Gunners’ academy graduate Bukayo Saka with a high tackle.
Liverpool’s fullback was booked by the on-pitch referee Paul Tierney for the offence. Although, Aubameyang – looking on from the stands – clearly felt it warranted further inspection from his colleagues at Stockley Park. As Arsenal’s top scorer vented on Twitter: “WTF didn’t even get the VAR on this one.”
The perceived injustice voiced by Aubameyang may have perhaps been heightened by the red card his Arsenal teammate Eddie Nketiah received in the club’s previous home match against Leicester City.
The 21-year-old striker had just been substituted on when – before he had even touched the ball – Nketiah collided with fullback James Justin in the 73rd minute. Following a VAR review, Nketiah was dismissed for a challenge many have likened to the one Alexander-Arnold committed.
Despite the controversy, Arsenal held on to their one-goal advantage – helped by Aubameyang’s 30 minute cameo – to become the latest to take points off Liverpool after their 30-year wait for a Premier League title was ended.
This defeat also confirmed that Klopp’s side would be unable to better the record points tally Manchester City – with Arteta as Pep Guardiola’s assistant – set in 2018.