Martin Odegaard thinks the referee gave Manchester City a soft penalty and denied him a clear one in Saturday’s clash at the Emirates.
Arsenal’s narrow defeat to Manchester City on Saturday came down to a few pivotal refereeing decisions, and Martin Odegaard seems to believe the officials got the big ones wrong.
In the first half, Odegaard was brought down by Ederson in the penalty area. The City goalkeeper didn’t get a touch on the ball, but no penalty was awarded, even after review.
“I took the ball first, then he kicked my leg,” Odegaard confirmed.
After that, Arsenal managed to take a one-goal lead without the referee’s help, but Stuart Attwell was ready to respond by gifting City a penalty of their own.
To say that Granit Xhaka “brought down” Bernardo Silva would be a bizarre twisting of the truth, which is that Silva threw himself to the floor and Xhaka grabbed his shirt as he fell.
It was silly on Xhaka’s part, who could have just let Silva fall without any danger, but he gave Attwell the opportunity to give the spot-kick. Obviously, he snapped that opportunity up.
Odegaard thinks the decision was a soft one, and he emphasises that the City man was already diving before the contact.
“I think it’s a very soft penalty, you can see it on the replay,” Odegaard said. “He goes down, then Granit takes his shirt, but he’s already on the way down.
“The ref was standing behind and said ‘no pen’, then on the cameras, it can always look worse.”
If only the referee had taken another look at the Odegaard foul, perhaps that one would have looked worse on the replays as well. But the VAR decided he only needed to review the penalty against Arsenal.