What Mikel Arteta did in the dugout before Arsenal were awarded a penalty against Aston Villa


Arsenal returned to winning ways against Aston Villa on Friday night.

Goals from Thomas Partey, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emile Smith Rowe ensured the Gunners didn’t go three games without a win and the result means they ended the latest game week in the top half of the Premier League table.

However, there was some controversy over the second goal as Villa manager Dean Smith was adamant it should not have stood.

After Aubameyang saw his penalty saved by former Arsenal teammate Emiliano Martinez, he was able to knock home the rebound to score for the fourth successive game at the Emirates Stadium.

But Smith felt the half-time whistle should have blown after the initial save.

“My understanding was we were walking off the pitch for half-time, then he gives the penalty,” Smith said. “If it is a goal, or he saves it, surely he blows up and we walk off the pitch? Instead he is able to put in the rebound and when we kick off again he blows up. That frustrated me most and I am still seeking clarity.

“If Craig Pawson was in front of us now and asked if he was certain that was a penalty, I don’t think he would say he was certain.

“I could see by the way he was looking at the screen he wasn’t sure. If you have someone in your ear saying that is a penalty, it is hard to go against them.

“Stand by your own decision – there is an inevitability about it when they go to the screen.”



Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Arsenal's second against Villa in controversial circumstances. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored Arsenal’s second against Villa in controversial circumstances. (Photo by GLYN KIRK/AFP via Getty Images)

And it would appear that Smith wasn’t alone in being frustrated about the decision to award the penalty.

On YouTube, Arsenal have posted their latest ‘Bench Cam’ video which captures the manager’s every move in the dugout especially for home games and Mikel Arteta was animated as ever throughout the game at the Emirates.

Whilst the Spaniard was delighted with his side managing to overcome Villa, he was visibly frustrated about the penalty situation.

At around the 3.44-minute mark, the Spaniard can be seen watching the VAR monitor alongside referee Craig Pawson and then makes a gesture with his hand which seemed like he was under the impression that the Gunners were going to be denied a spot-kick.

But even after Pawson awarded the penalty, Arteta’s mood didn’t improve until after Aubameyang had made it 2-0.

Having been convinced it was a penalty after Alexandre Lacazette was fouled, perhaps Arsenal’s manager was just frustrated with how long it took to reach the decision.

“VAR obviously didn’t give us anything against Palace,” he said in his post-match press conference. “I think it’s a penalty.

“The timing there I think you can discuss if the time was right. But if you asked me to have a judgement on the action for me it’s a penalty.”





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