Arsenal in fresh VAR farce as Gunners convinced West Ham goal should've been disallowed


Arsenal suffered more VAR agony as Tomas Soucek fired West Ham United into a shock lead in their Premier League clash on Thursday night. Soucek's messy opener silenced the Emirates Stadium 13 minutes into the London derby after a lengthy VAR check bound to spark fresh debate.

Arsenal entered the clash looking to restore their status as Premier League leaders ahead of Liverpool and respond to Manchester City's 3-1 win at Everton on Wednesday.

But West Ham ruled out a dominant Gunners start by stringing together a neat move that climaxed when William Saliba failed to prevent an Emerson Palmieri cross from the left.

Oleksandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Magalhaes then made a mess of the clearance inside the box, leading to Jarrod Bowen poking the ball back across goal for Soucek to fire past David Raya.

Michael Oliver stood by his on-field decision after a several-minute-long VAR review, which determined that Bowen had narrowly kept the ball in play on the goal line.

But replays couldn't show definitive proof whether the ball had left the pitch or not due to the Hammers forward's body blocking the main camera's view.

It resulted in another farcical incident due to the lack of overhead angles for a decision that has already caused Arsenal pain this season - despite the Premier League's status as the world's best and highest-grossing league.

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Arsenal conceded in a similar manner in their 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United at the start of November, sparking Mikel Arteta's memorable post-match rant at St James' Park.

Joe Willock was judged to have marginally kept the ball in play near the left corner flag before Anthony Gordon directed Joelinton's headed pass into the goal.

Arteta branded the officials a "disgrace" after full-time, and Arsenal published a letter ordering PGMOL to "address the standard of officiating".

Soucek's surprise opener seemingly stunned Arsenal, who looked unconvincing for the remainder of the first half in north London.

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