‘WTF!’: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang can’t believe Arsenal ‘didn’t even get VAR’ on Trent Alexander-Arnold’s high lunge on Bukayo Saka during win over Liverpool
- Trent Alexander-Arnold escaped a red card during Liverpool’s defeat to Arsenal
- The full-back made a high lunge on Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka on Wednesday night
- The tackle resembled Eddie Nketiah’s red card against Leicester City last week
- But referee Paul Tierney only gave the Liverpool defender a yellow card
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang joined Arsenal fans in criticising the decision online
Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has slammed Premier League officials after VAR failed to give Trent Alexander-Arnold a red card for a challenge on Bukayo Saka on Wednesday night.
In an x-rated tweet on Thursday morning, Aubameyang complained about Alexander-Arnold catching Saka high on the leg during the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Liverpool – but referee Paul Tierney only gave the England right-back a yellow card.
The tackle resembled a challenge made by Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah during the north London side’s draw with Leicester City last week, which saw the 20-year-old sent off after a long VAR check.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang slammed the decision not to send Trent Alexander-Arnold off
The Liverpool defender produced a high lunge on Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka on Wednesday night
Referee Paul Tierney only gave Alexander-Arnold a yellow card after the high challenge
And Aubameyang took to Twitter to display his anger at the Alexander-Arnold decision, saying: ‘WTF didnt Even get the VAR on this one’
The Gabon striker was sent off himself for a similar tackle during a 1-1 draw at Crystal Palace in January.
Aubameyang caught Eagles midfielder Max Meyer on the ankle and referee Tierney, also in charge of the match at Selhurst Park, chose to brandish a red card after consulting VAR.
The forward was then handed a three-match ban for the tackle, the same punishment Nketiah was given last week for the Leicester foul.
The Alexander-Arnold lunge resembles one made by Eddie Nketiah against Leicester last week
Aubameyang (right) looks on as Nketiah is given a red card for the challenge after a VAR review
The striker was sent off by referee Tierney for a similar tackle against Crystal Palace in January
The Arsenal captain was not the only individual in the Gunners camp to be dismayed by the decision not to send Alexander-Arnold off on Wednesday night, as several fans of Mikel Arteta’s side were shocked by the officials’ call.
‘How on earth did this not even get a VAR review?’ raged one fan on Twitter. ‘Clear red card.’
Another wrote: ‘Eddie Nketiah got a red card, Trent didn’t. Worst refs in Europe! Incredible inconsistency.’
Another Gunners fan claimed that VAR was ‘failing’ the club, saying: ‘How was Alexander-Arnold able to escape a red card for that challenge on Bukayo Saka?
Arsenal fans also took to Twitter to show their dismay after Alexander-Arnold was not sent off
‘Looked more reckless than Nketiah’s tackle on Leicester’s City’s Justin. Got slapped with a three-match suspension but Arnold? Just a yellow … VAR again failing us yet again.’
Arsenal legend Ian Wright backed Aubameyang’s concerns about the challenge during his punditry on Match of the Day.
Speaking alongside Gary Lineker and Tim Cahill, Wright said: ‘There’ll probably be some long-winded reason why that’s not a sending off but Eddie Nketiah’s is. Something like that. They were [very similar].’
However, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta appeared to play down the recklessness of the challenge and did not think Alexander-Arnold’s challenge warranted a sending off.
In his post-match press conference, Arteta said: ‘It was in front of me and it’s part of the game. I think they both went for the ball and that is part of the game.’
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta (right) disagreed with Aubameyang (left) about the high tackle
Reiss Nelson (right) scored the winner as Arsenal denied Liverpool a record points total
Thankfully for Arsenal, they did not need the numerical advantage to beat the Premier League champions in a comeback win at Emirates Stadium.
Sadio Mane gave Jurgen Klopp’s side the lead after 20 minutes but the Gunners managed to complete the turnaround before half-time.
Alexandre Lacazette and Reiss Nelson both capitalised on separate Liverpool defensive errors to give Arsenal a 2-1 win to lift them up to ninth in the Premier League table.
The result also denied Liverpool the opportunity to achieve a record points total in the Premier League, an achievement currently held by Manchester City who registered 100 points in 2018.