Mikel Arteta was robbed of his first win as Arsenal head coach by a series of awful mistakes, led by the referee Craig Pawson.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Jorginho of Chelsea celebrates with Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Jorginho of Chelsea celebrates with Cesar Azpilicueta of Chelsea after scoring his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal against Chelsea looked like a completely different side to the one we became used to watching under Unai Emery. They had passion, desire and, more importantly, confidence and a plan.

Deservedly, they took the lead and, while Chelsea gradually came back into the game in the second half, Arsenal seemed to have things under control.

Then Craig Pawson reached for a yellow for Lucas Torreira. He’d tugged back a Chelsea player ever so slightly and went straight into the book, rightly so.

A few minutes later, Jorginho did the same thing on an Arsenal player but this time it was not a card, only a booking for Alexandre Lacazette for daring to point out the obvious – Jorginho was already on a yellow and that is a text-book yellow card offence.

Arsenal's French striker Alexandre Lacazette (2R) is shown a yellow card by referee Craig Pawson during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 29, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo by IAN KINGTON/IKIMAGES/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal’s French striker Alexandre Lacazette (2R) is shown a yellow card by referee Craig Pawson during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium in London on December 29, 2019. (Photo by Ian KINGTON / IKIMAGES / AFP)

It was, of course, Jorginho who ‘won’ the free-kick from which Jorginho then scored Chelsea’s equaliser.

To compound matters, Arsenal’s player of the season so far, Bernd Leno, made a rare mistake to gift the player who shouldn’t even have been on the pitch a goal that swung the game irretrievably away from Arsenal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Bernd Leno of Arsenal unsuccessfully attempts to clear the ball leading to Chelsea's first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Bernd Leno of Arsenal unsuccessfully attempts to clear the ball leading to Chelsea’s first goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

We can discuss Shkodran Mustafi on their second, or how 18 months of Unai Emery teaching them to be cowards will take longer than a week to coach out of them at another point. If Pawson had done his job in the first place, Chelsea wouldn’t have scored that equaliser.

The end result would have been very different with Arsenal defending their lead against 10 men.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Tammy Abraham of Chelsea scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 29: Tammy Abraham of Chelsea scores his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Emirates Stadium on December 29, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

To rub more salt into the oozing wound, Pawson then booked Ainsley Maitland-Niles for a slight pull back 13 minutes after he failed to do the same to the Chelsea man.

You can rarely point to a single decision in a game as a definitive turning point and it is not usually because of one refereeing call that a side loses a game, but when you are playing with the fine margins Arsenal have in their locker at present, each dodgy decision is magnified ten-fold.

We have the ability to use VAR. When a call is as important as if a player should remain on the pitch, it’s a disgrace we don’t use it for that.

Then again, the entire way PGMOL and Premier League referees go about their job is mostly a disgrace, so I’m not really sure why I’m surprised.

Still, there was much to be positive from Arsenal’s fourth home defeat in a row for the first time in 60 years, and that isn’t even sarcasm.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.