Ex-EPL referee gives verdict on Arsenal penalty decision in 3-1 win over Chelsea

Former Premier League referee, Dermot Gallagher, has said Chelsea cannot have any complaints over the penalty decision in their 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Boxing Day.

Michael Oliver awarded the spot-kick in the first half after Recce James brought down Kieran Tierney inside the area.

Subsequent replays showed little contact between the two players.

However, a VAR check didn’t overrule the decision and Alexandre Lacazette made it 1-0.

Granit Xhaka doubled Arsenal’s advantage from a free-kick, before Bukayo Saka’s cross-cum-shot made it 3-0.

Gallagher believes Chelsea should not feel aggrieved over Arsenal’s first-half penalty.

“What I would say is the guy who has got the best view is Michael Oliver, he has the view where he can see the players coming together,” Gallagher told Premier League Productions.

“He gave it instantly. I think what you have to remember then is that when it goes to VAR, VAR is not there to decide whether he’s made the right decision or the wrong decision, he’s got to decide if it is a clear and obvious error, and I would suggest not if the referee gives it, so on that basis he sticks with the on-field decision.”

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