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28th Oct 2018

Controversy as referee allows Arsenal goal from Lacazette handball assist

Arsenal took the lead against Crystal Palace in controversial circumstances as Alexandre Lacazette appeared to handle the ball before the goal was scored

Reuben Pinder

Calls for the introduction of VAR in the Premier League quadruple in South London…

Arsenal took the lead against Crystal Palace in controversial circumstances this afternoon, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang poked the ball home from a corner, with a helping hand from Alexandre Lacazette.

Palace broke the deadlock just before half time with a penalty from Luka Milivojević, who showed great calmness to roll the ball home having missed from 12 yards last weekend against Everton.

Arsenal then equalised not long into the second half thanks to a stunning free kick from Granit Xhaka, who arrowed the ball into the top corner from an acute angle.

The visitors then took the lead through Aubameyang, who met a Xhaka corner at the back post to poke the ball millimetres over the line. But the ball would not have arrived where he wanted it had it not been for an important – illegal – touch from Lacazette.

The Arsenal striker raised an arm and quite visibly deflected the ball towards the back post. Maybe the south London sun was in the referee’s eyes, who knows?

The ball was very nearly prevented too, as Wayne Hennessey parried it away but not before it had crossed the line by a matter of millimetres.

The conversation following this incident will inevitably come back to VAR, and whether the Premier League should make use of the technology. With every incorrect high profile decision, the argument swings more in the favour of its introduction, despite its obvious restrictions on celebrations and the time it eats up.