Arsenal can consider themselves well and truly robbed after some terrible refereeing decisions conspired to hand Manchester City all three points at the Emirates on New Year’s Day.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal is shown a second yellow card leading to a red card by Referee, Stuart Attwell for a foul on Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Gabriel Magalhaes of Arsenal is shown a second yellow card leading to a red card by Referee, Stuart Attwell for a foul on Gabriel Jesus of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Why did VAR not ask Stuart Atwell to review the Arsenal penalty but called him over to look at Bernardo Silva’s dive?

We will probably never know.

Sure, Granit Xhaka had a hold of Silva’s shirt, but he was pulling him UP as the City man was already well on his way to the turf.

Physics doesn’t work like that.

Until the 80th minute, Atwell had given Arsenal only three free kicks despite booking four Arsenal players and sending Gabriel off.

In fact, Arsenal were more likely to get booked for complaining about City’s fouls than they were for committing them.

Still, after City took the lead, Atwell decided he best start balancing up the stats when it made no difference whatsoever.

There is much to be infuriated about after that match, little of it to do with Arsenal.

If that isn’t progress, I don’t know what is.

That they had to resort to cheating to win, despite being hailed as the best on the planet, tells you how well Arsenal played in this game.

Arsenal player ratings vs Manchester City (half-time)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 01: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JANUARY 01: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Arsenal reacts during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Emirates Stadium on January 01, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
  • Aaron Ramsdale 5.4 (6.2)
  • Takehiro Tomiyasu 6.9 (7.3)
  • Benjamin White 6.6 (6.9)
  • Gabriel 5.9 (7.0)
  • Kieran Tierney 6.9 (7.2) – A
  • Thomas Partey 7.4 (7.2)
  • Granit Xhaka 6.0 (6.6)
  • Bukayo Saka 6.6 (7.1) – G
  • Martin Odegaard 5.8 (5.9)
  • Gabriel Martinelli 7.1 (7.0)
  • Alexandre Lacazette 6.3 (6.5)

Arsenal subs

  • Rob Holding 6.3
  • Emile Smith Rowe 6.1
  • Mohamed Elneny n/a

[source]