Arsenal’s afternoon might have unfolded differently if Greater Manchester’s Lee Mason on VAR hadn’t told Salford’s Paul Tierney to have a look at Christian Eriksen falling over and even Martin Odegaard has no clue why it was called back.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Christian Eriksen of Manchester United is fouled by Martin Oedegaard of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 04, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: Christian Eriksen of Manchester United is fouled by Martin Oedegaard of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 04, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

It’s a rare thing to find Arsenal fans moaning and all the pundits (except Roy Keane) agreeing with them.

Nigel de Jong, Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker, Michael Owen, Darren Bent, even Paul Scholes all said it was ridiculous to rule out Gabriel Martinelli’s goal at Old Trafford because Christian Eriksen wasn’t strong enough when Martin Odegaard challenged him.

Speaking after the game, Odegaard expressed what we were all thinking.

“I barely touched him,” he said.

“They keep saying this is the Premier League and want it to be physical. I don’t understand how he can go back on it.”

After the game Mikel Arteta was asked about it as well and he was as perplexed as the rest of us.

“I haven’t seen the action,” Arteta told reporters, “but what they said is that it was a soft foul so it’s just consistency.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 04: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal scores their sides goal later disallowed by VAR during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 04, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 04: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal scores their sides goal later disallowed by VAR during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal FC at Old Trafford on September 04, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“The soft foul on Bukayo Saka with Mings is not a penalty last week, the soft foul against Aaron Ramsdale when we concede a goal against Villa, it’s a goal.

“So just consistency. There’s nothing we can do now, it’s too late, but it’s just consistency.”

As if the result wasn’t bad enough, Arsenal might have also lost Emile Smith Rowe to an injury he appeared to pick up in the warm down.

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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.