Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale demands refereeing and VAR consistency after penalty drama in Manchester City defeat
"Both penalties, I don't know why the referee is told to see one and not the other,” a frustrated Aaron Ramsdale said afterwards. “It is there for a reason, go and use it. It is the inconsistency." Despite taking the lead against the champions, the Gunners were left feeling aggrieved following a late 2-1 defeat.
Stuivenberg 'very proud about the performance' after Arsenal edged out by Man City
Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale and assistant coach Albert Stuivenberg have bemoaned the lack of consistency in officiating following their dramatic 2-1 defeat to Manchester City.
An entertaining game at the Emirates was shrouded in controversy over the decisions to first deny the Gunners a penalty and later award one to the champions.
Bukayo Saka gave the home side the lead on the half hour, however, earlier in the game, playmaker Martin Odegaard appeared to have been fouled by City keeper Ederson in the area but the officials were unmoved.
City’s equaliser then came courtesy of a spot-kick when Bernardo Silva was adjudged to have been fouled by Granit Xhaka after referee Stuart Attwell was told to review the incident by the VAR.
Speaking afterwards, Ramsdale was unhappy with the officiating that led to both calls.
"Both penalties, I don't know why the referee is told to see one and not the other,” he told BT Sport. “It is there for a reason, go and use it. It is the inconsistency.
The whole point is to help the game out. In real time it (Silva) didn't look like one and slow it down on a screen and it is given.
Stuivenberg, who was on the touchline due to Mikel Arteta’s positive Covid diagnosis, concurred with his player about the decision-making process.
"I think it [Odegaard] is a penalty but I am looking for consistency. We have VAR in place so why not check yourself as a referee? That did not happen so it is disappointing,” he said.
During the City penalty incident, Gunners defender Gabriel was booked for dissent after appearing to disrupt the penalty spot and in a matter of minutes was sent off for a foul on Rodri.
Stuivenberg did not dispute the red card and admitted his player was naïve.
"It is something we have to learn, we have young players in the team and have to control our emotions," he said.
Granit Xhaka of Arsenal reacts after Bernardo Silva of Manchester City goes down in the box during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty)
Image credit: Getty Images
“I am not sure the first yellow is because of that (scuffing the penalty spot), I cannot ask the question to the referee now. If you are on a yellow you have to be smarter."
City went on the score a stoppage time winner through Rodri to take the three points, condemning Arsenal to a first defeat in five league games, however Ramsdale was bullish about the performance of the team overall.
"Tough to take but we have to take it, that is the result,” he added. “I don't think for large parts of the game teams have done that to Manchester City.
The red card changes the game, we were so close. We go again, we have a big semi-final coming up.
"They are one of, if not the best team in the league. We are a young team and don't fear anyone.”