Brentford’s controversial equaliser against Arsenal was only allowed to stand after it was revealed that VAR official Lee Mason forgot to draw the lines that would have shown Christian Norgaard was offside in the build-up to Ivan Toney’s goal.
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Mikel Arteta was left raging when Leandro Trossard’s first goal for his new club was cancelled out after the officials made two errors while reviewing the incident which prevented the Gunners from opening up an eight point lead at the top of the table.
Mason took three minutes to adjudge that Ethan Pinnock was not interfering with play by blocking Gabriel Magalhaes from getting to the ball initially, a decision disputed by Arteta after the game.
‘The action when you get blocked when you are offside,’ said the Arsenal manager. ‘You cannot block if you are offside.
‘Looking at the images, you have to apply certain principles in defending and you do that by sticking to the rules and suddenly you apply different rules then you have to change your principles.
‘So tell us before because then you don’t hold the line that high because you’re always going to have an advantage if you get blocked.’
Mason then compounded that error by greenlighting Toney’s header by forgetting to check whether Norgaard had strayed beyond Ben White, Arsenal’s last man, before he prodded the ball into the path of Brentford’s top scorer.
‘Ivan puts the ball in the net and VAR Lee Mason obviously runs through the checks,’ said Mail on Sunday referee expert and PGMOL representative Chris Foy, who was in the Match Centre at Stockley Park on Saturday.
‘VAR was looking to see if there was an offside and whether Ethan Pinnock had blocked off Gabriel in the build-up.
‘He looked at the possible foul and decided there hadn’t been one and therefore referee Peter Bankes hadn’t made a clear and obvious error.
‘However, in the build-up to the goal, Christian Norgaard — whose cross it is that Toney heads in — is in an offside position.
‘However, the truth is that VAR didn’t fully investigate with the lines. The lines, simply, didn’t go down. And that counts as human error.
‘Had the lines gone down the goal would have been disallowed for offside.’
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