The first half of Arsenal‘s match versus Crystal Palace on Monday evening wasn’t exactly a thriller.
Mikel Arteta’s side went in at the break 1-0 up thanks to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s eighth-minute goal.
But that was the only real moment of quality from the Gunners and the hosts were rather fortunate to be ahead in the game following the opening 45 minutes of play.
However, Palace were also mighty lucky to still have 11 players on the field.
Just before the half-time break, midfielder James McArthur somehow avoided a red card after he basically volleyed Bukayo Saka on the edge of the box.
The Arsenal man comfortably got to the ball first, but McArthur still swung his leg as hard as he could and connected with Saka in rather brutal fashion.
Take a look at the incident here…
— The Sportsman (@TheSportsman) October 18, 2021
Is this not violent conduct? 🧐🤦🏾♂️ pic.twitter.com/xjVu6TusZ3
— Mahith Gamage (@mahithgamage) October 18, 2021
Amazingly, Mike Dean deemed the tackle worthy of a yellow card only.
VAR reviewed the incident, but opted to stick with the on-field decision – which just doesn’t seem right to us.
Sure, McArthur may have not deliberately booted Saka, but the fact of the matter is that he could have seriously injured the Arsenal winger.
To make matters worse, McArthur wasn’t cautioned by Dean for a cynical foul on Emile Smith Rowe earlier on in the first half.
Another game, another set of questionable decisions by Premier League officials…
Saka was replaced by Albert Sambi Lokonga for the second half and the England international’s exit appeared to be a direct result of McArthur’s foul.