ByDan MarshSports Reporter
Sunday February 12, 2023
Furious Arsenal fans have hit out at the match officials after VAR failed to rule out Brentford's equalising goal in Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Emirates Stadium.Brentford's equalising strike was mired in controversy, though, after VAR was called in to check whether or not there was an offside. And despite a number of angles of the incident reflecting favourably for the hosts, Toney's strike was allowed to stand.
The Gunners headed into Saturday afternoon's clash against the Bees five points clear of Manchester City having played a game fewer than the defending champions. Leandro Trossard's first goal for the club had nudged them into the lead just after the hour, but Ivan Toney restored parity just eight minutes later.
Unsurprisingly, the decision did not go down well with Arsenal fans, who vented their frustrations on social media. One fan posted: "I have to keep saying this, corrupt refereeing".
Another flagged up other controversial calls which have gone against the Gunners in recent weeks, posted: "No pen at Newcastle, no pen at Everton, offside goal for Brentford. Call me crazy but the refs are actually against us".
The result comes just one week after Arsenal fell to a shock 1-0 defeat against relegation-haunted Everton to open up the title race. Manchester City were unable to take advantage of Arsenal's slip last weekend - but they will have another opportunity to close the gap when they face Aston Villa on Sunday.
Reacting after the match, Mikel Arteta was also left aggrieved after the decision to allow Toney's leveller to stand. The Spaniard said: "I just looked at it [the Brentford goal] and it is offside."
Trossard was also left disappointed after opening his Arsenal account. He told Match of the Day: "Yeah of course it's nice to have the goal as it gets me going but after that it's disappointing they got the equaliser. It's a tough one to take. We did everything well. To score against Brentford isn't easy.
"We said before on the set-pieces they're really good and today it happened again. We have to learn from that. There's a game again on Wednesday to turn things around.
"You don't get your way every game. We have to work hard every single day. There's a great atmosphere in the team and we have to keep that momentum going even when results don't go your way."
Arsenal's next match is a crunch meeting with Manchester City in midweek. And if City beat Aston Villa on Sunday, and the Gunners on Wednesday night, then they would leapfrog their title rivals in the table.