Arsenal lost their first game of the Premier League season in controversial style after Newcastle United’s winner came under the scrutiny of VAR.
The technology given to a remote official to help cast an additional view over key incidents in matches like goals, offsides and potential red cards, has proved a controversial addition to the game with fans split on its introduction and how it is implemented.
VAR was once again the talking point in the late Premier League clash at St James’ Park as the Gunners travelled to take on the Magpies.
Eddie Howe’s side emerged victorious with a 1-0 win against Arteta’s side – but it came after a huge moment that was decided by VAR.
Anthony Gordon bundled in what proved to be Newcastle’s winner, but it had to be checked for three different aspects by VAR before it was confirmed as a goal.
The ball initially looked to have run out of play before Joe Willock got there, but VAR ruled that there was ‘inconclusive evidence’, before checking a foul on Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes.
After that was cleared, officials looked into an offside against Gordon before referee Stuart Atwell was eventually given the green light to award the goal.
Following the game, Gunners boss Arteta could not hide his disgust with the decision and labelled it an ‘absolute disgrace’ as he embarked on a rant in his post-match press conference
He said: “We have to talk about the result because you have to talk about how the hell this goal stand ups and it’s incredible.
“I feel embarrassed but I have to be the one now coming here to try to defend the club and please ask for help, because it’s an absolute disgrace that this goal is allowed; it’s an absolute disgrace.
“It’s not a goal for many reasons; it’s not a goal, for more than one reason at least. It’s not a goal and it’s too much at stake here. We put in so much effort, it’s so difficult to compete at this level, and it’s an absolute disgrace.
“Again, I feel embarrassed having more than 20 years in this country, and this is nowhere near the level to describe this as the best league in the world. I am sorry.
“That (three VAR checks) makes it even worse. It makes it even worse that you have, even worse, it makes it even worse.
“You just need to see one image, says, if you need, and you have any doubt you look at the second one, and if this is a goal, okay, that’s fine.”
But just a few weeks ago, Arteta said very different things on the subject of VAR.
Speaking following Liverpool’s Luis Diaz having a perfectly legitimate goal ruled out wrongly by VAR against Tottenham, the Gunners boss said supporters need to ‘accept that mistakes happen’.
He also added match officials are ‘trying to make the best decision and protect the game’ and ‘we need to give them support’.
It is quite the different reaction to what he said last night and seems totally contradictory.