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‘Absolute disgrace’: Mikel Arteta slams VAR after Gordon winner for Newcastle

An incandescent Mikel Arteta labelled Arsenal’s 1-0 defeat at Newcastle “a disgrace” after Anthony Gordon’s winning goal stood despite VAR checks for three possible problems.

It was Arsenal’s first Premier League loss of the season but Arteta had no doubt he and his players were the victims of an outrageous miscarriage of justice. It was ultimately decided that there was no proof that the ball had gone out of play before Joe Willock crossed it, and the ruling was that Joelinton had not committed a foul while challenging Gabriel, and Gordon was judged not to be offside.

“Embarrassing, it’s an absolute disgrace, that’s what it is: a disgrace,” Arteta said. “There’s so much at stake, we’ve put in so many hours to compete at the highest level and you cannot imagine the amount of messages we’ve had saying this cannot continue. It’s embarrassing.

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“It’s not acceptable, there’s too much at stake. I don’t want to be in the hands of these people. I don’t know how to feel. I’m wasting my time, we are wasting our time. It’s difficult enough to compete against Newcastle – they are a really good team, but we have to talk about how the hell this goal stood. It’s an absolute disgrace it was allowed. For more than one reason it should not be a goal.

“I have been in this country more than 20 years and [the officiating] is nowhere near the level of the best league in the world. I feel sick to be part of this. I feel sick. It’s not a goal, it’s not a goal.”

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Eddie Howe affected mild surprise. “Maybe Mikel has seen something I haven’t,” said Newcastle’s manager. “I had no idea what was going on with the VAR checks. You’re in the lap of the Gods. It was bizarre to have three.”

While Arsenal were unhappy about Bruno Guimarães’s clash with Jorginho not being considered a red card, Howe claimed Kai Havertz should have been sent off for a first-half challenge on Sean Longstaff. “My initial thought was that it was a red,” he said. “I thought it was high and dangerous but I would need to see it again.

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“We’re in a difficult moment with a lot of injuries but I’m really proud of my players. They’ve really stepped up.”