Rio Ferdinand Admitted To Being Left ‘Confused’ By VAR After Two Contentious Penalty Decisions Went Against Arsenal

They were denied a spot-kick during the first-half when Martin Odegaard went over in the box when challenged by City goalkeeper Ederson.

VAR official Jarred Gillett took a long look at replays before agreeing with on-field referee Stuart Attwell that Ederson had got a toe to the ball before his contact with Odegaard. Attwell didn’t consult the pitchside screen on that occasion.

And Arsenal’s sense of injustice only deepened in the second-half when Bernardo Silva was brought down by Granit Xhaka’s shirt tug, with Attwell this time overturning his initial ‘no penalty’ decision after consulting the VAR monitor.

That allowed Riyad Mahrez to cancel out Bukayo Saka’s opener and after Gabriel Magalhaes was sent off, Rodri won it for City deep into stoppage time to move them 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League.

Speaking in the BT Sport studio, former England defender Ferdinand wasn’t convinced City should have been awarded a penalty but the greater problem was over the inconsistent application of VAR.

‘Anywhere else on the pitch, it is a foul. There is a desperation in Xhaka’s actions but if he [Silva] doesn’t go down the game carries on,’ he said.

‘I don’t like diving but if you don’t you get punished. You would go down there.

‘I am confused with the decisions. There is no way to justify looking at one but not the other.

‘Referees in the Euros were told to go to the monitor and make a decision. That’s why it was better.’

Speaking about the non-award of the Odegaard penalty at half-time, Ferdinand said: ‘I do not understand with VAR how it was not given.

‘It is clear and obvious, it gets on my nerves, it clouds everything.’

Sitting alongside Ferdinand in the studio, Joleon Lescott said: ‘I think it is a penalty but Arsenal’s is too.

‘It is the inconsistency of not allowing the referee to make the decision, to not check the first one but then check this one.

‘You may not agree with the decision but when the process is different, that is what is frustrating.’

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