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24th Sep 2023

Arsenal awarded controversial penalty in north London derby

Callum Boyle

Arsenal penalty

Referee Robert Jones hadn’t initially awarded Arsenal a penalty

Arsenal were awarded a controversial penalty after Cristian Romero was adjudged to have handled the ball in the box.

The Gunners faced Spurs at the Emirates Stadium as the two sides looked to continue their impressive starts to the season.

While the opening 20 minutes had been a cagey affair, the Gunners had began to assert their dominance and Saka – started his 84th consecutive game for his boyhood club – stepped up when needed. 

Saka cut in onto his left foot to evade Destiny Udogie, who had been booked minutes earlier, before unleashing a curling effort which was given a helping hand as Romero stuck his leg out to divert it into the back of the net.

The goal eventually went down as a Romero own goal after it was decided that Saka’s initial effort wasn’t hitting the target without the assisted deflection.

Spurs found themselves level shortly before half time though as Maddison turned up when needed most to provide for captain, Heung-min Son, who fired Ange Postecoglou’s side level.

Just over five minutes after the start of the second half, Romero was accused of handling the ball in the box and although referee Robert Jones waved away protests, a look at the VAR monitor made him change his decision and award Arsenal the spot kick.

Saka stepped up from 12 yards to put Mikel Arteta’s side back in front only for Son to reply just seconds later.

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