Premier League: Why Arsenal’s penalty against Man Utd was overturned


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It’s certainly been a tricky start to life at the Emirates Stadium for new £65m signing Kai Havertz.

The German international has yet to really impress with him new club, struggling in a new midfield role that Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is seemingly adamant he can play.

With zero goals and zero assists to his name and very little contributions other than leading the team in most aerial duals won (which he wasn’t exactly signed for), Havertz looked to have finally provided a telling action for Arsenal in their crunch clash with Manchester United on Sunday.

Keen to make up for completely missing the ball when trying to have a pop at goal from eight yards out in the first half, Havertz burst through the right hand of the Man Utd defence in the 57th minute, drifting past both Casemiro and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

While doing so, however, Havertz appeared to have been chopped down by one, or both, of the Red Devils players when sandwiched in between the two. Referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the spot immediately and the German international arose to his feet thinking he’d earned his side a penalty kick and an opportunity to take a 2-1 lead in the game.

After VAR intervention and a check of the pitch-side monitor by Taylor, the penalty award was overturned.

After quickly blowing his whistle and pointing to the penalty spot, Taylor immediately pointed to a very guilty-looking Wan-Bissaka inside the box.

The right-back had stuck out a lazy leg when Havertz drifted past him and there were very few complaints from Man Utd’s players when the penalty was given (aside from Bruno Fernandes; he’s usually complaining, though).

It would take a VAR intervention that told Taylor to check the pitch-side monitor to see that it was Havertz rather than Wan-Bissaka who had initiated the contact in the box.

Havertz’s trailing left leg skimmed off Wan-Bissaka, resulting in the player dropping to the ground. Seeing this, Taylor opted to rescind the penalty kick.

What we know

  • Anthony Taylor overturned a penalty decision
  • Havertz had won the penalty for Arsenal against Man Utd
  • VAR intervened to help Taylor make the correct decision

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