Martin Odegaard believes Rodri’s challenge “studs high” on him in Spain’s match against Norway on Saturday was a blatant penalty despite the referee playing on.
Arsenal’s Martin Odegaard and Manchester City’s Rodri were involved in a controversial incident on international duty, as Norway took on Spain.
With Erling Haaland “injured” for the international break, Norway had once again been let down by their star goalscorer’s absence in qualifying, putting the pressure on team captain Odegaard.
Haaland has only featured in four of the nine international breaks involving World Cup or European Championship qualifiers since his debut, leading to plenty of dropped points.
Whilst Odegaard did turn up away in Spain, he may have regretted that decision when he saw City’s Rodri flying in on him in the first half.
Rodri caught Odegaard on the ankle in the penalty area, getting none of the ball, but the referee waved away the appeals.
“Yes, he chopped me right down,” Odegaard said afterwards. “Maybe the ref thought because I got the shot away… But he flies in with the studs high on my ankles. That’s a blatant penalty.
“But put it this way: I don’t want to talk about the referee.
“Look… I don’t even… If I speak… Better keep quiet!”
Norway ended up losing the match 3-0, but the penalty incident could have been the turning point, with the away side just 1-0 down at the time.
From an Arsenal perspective, the good news was that Odegaard didn’t suffer an injury from the challenge, going on to play the rest of the match.
Norway have a more winnable fixture in their second game of qualifying, taking on Georgia.