After a thrilling encounter where the lead swung both ways, Mikel Arteta’s men secured a famous victory courtesy of a 90th minute winner from Eddie Nketiah who was on hand to guide the ball home after Martin Odegaard’s shot deflected into his path. However, as with every goal scored nowadays, the strike was subject to a VAR check.
Considering how high the stakes were, those inside the Emirates were left on the edge of their seats while the team of officials in Stockley Park mulled over whether both Nketiah and Arsenal left-back Oleksandr Zinchenko had strayed offside.
The goal-scorer was swiftly given the all-clear, but for those watching on at home there was still confusion surrounding whether Zinchenko was offside before played the ball into the feet of Odegaard.
This is because Sky Sports only showed the check on Nketiah, leaving viewers in the dark over Zinchenko’s contribution.
Following an anxious two minutes or so, Anthony Taylor pointed to the centre circle to award the goal, but Petit has slammed the saga and suggested it took the emotion out of the moment.
“VAR… it kills emotion all the time. You have to wait for 30 seconds for the decision and you don’t know whether to celebrate or not – it’s no longer spontaneous. I think football is about emotion. You want to celebrate but now you have to wait. I really don’t like it.
“As a fan I don’t like it, but if I was a player… well you just stand on the pitch waiting and they tell you if it’s a goal or not? I know football and rules have to change, but it’s going too far for me – you’re killing the emotion.”
While Petit certainly has a point, in truth it cetainly didn’t feel as if the VAR check dampened Arsenal’s celebrations at all.
Zinchenko himself left out an astonishing scream, likely a mix of passion and relief, after finding out the goal would stand in what could go on to be one of the defining images of Arsenal’s season.
The win ensured the Gunners remain top of the pile and boast a five-point advantage over nearest challengers Manchester City having played a game less than Pep Guardiola’s side.
Story by Josh O’Brien,Give me Sports