Another inconsistency by VAR, Red Card for Nketiah of Arsenal, No card for Jamie Vardy

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Arsenal football club drew 1-1 with Leicester City at the Emirate Stadium in what supposed to be one of the best end-to-end matches of the week but that has been overshadowed by the inconsistency of Video Assistant Referee (VAR). The players who scored the two goals in the match and the beautiful build-up to the two goals are not being talked about as much as the VAR and the performance of the centre-referee, Chris Kavanagh.

Pundits, football fans and even the manager of Arsenal football club, Mikel Arteta, believe that Chris Kavanagh used the Tuesday night match to show the world how appalling refereeing in the Premier League has become and also how inconsistent the VAR is.

Arsenal Vs Leicester City: What really happened?

Arsenal Vs Leicester City: What really happened?
Eddie Nketiah and referee Chris Kavanagh

The match started like every other regular match since the Premier League returned from the coronavirus induced break – a handful of people in the stadium and improvised or virtual fans. Since the two teams knew how important the match was to them, the fire started burning from the blast of the whistle.

Arsenal football club proved that they were the better team on the night throughout the first half. They created a lot of chances they couldn’t convert to goals. Amid all the great chances they had, they were only able to convert one in the 21st minute of the first half when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a tap in from Bukayo Saka’s pass.

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The game would have changed for the better in the 42nd minute if Jamie Vardy was given a red card for his challenge on Arsenal’s Shokdran Mustafi. The English forward raised his boot and landed it on the face on Mustafi but the referee and the VAR saw nothing bad about the challenge. He was not given a yellow card nor a red.

A challenge as deadly as that of Jamie Vardy occurred in the second half of the match. This time around, Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah stretched his leg and landed it on the ankle of Leicester’s James Justin. The youngster committed this foul in less than four minutes after replacing Alexandre Lacazette.

Unlike in the case of Vardy, Nketiah was given a yellow card initially before the VAR called the referee back to review the challenge. Chris Kavanagh reviewed the challenge and decided to award the 21-year-old English striker a red card.

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In less than two minutes after Arsenal began to play with 10 men, Leicester City took charge of the game firing from all cylinder until 6 minutes to the end of the regular time when Vardy scored the much-needed equaliser to deny Arsenal 3 points.

“With the red card decision, he doesn’t see the player, you have to know that he is a young kid, it can be a red card”, Mikel Arteta, the manager of Arsenal said after the match.

“But then Leicester needs to play with 10 men after 42 minutes. I don’t understand the rules since I have been in this country I have never seen a referee check any of the images. It’s the rules, I can do nothing now.

“What I am saying is if you review incidents of that type, you have to review them all. It has to be equal for everyone because it changes the game. If Eddie’s is a red card for sure, so is the other.”

Watch Arsenal V Leicester highlights here

The interesting and controversial encounter has forced Leicester City down to the 4th spot with 59 points, 4 points more than 5th placed Manchester United that still has a game in hand. While Chelsea has moved up to the 3rd spot with 60 points.

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Arsenal’s fans disagree with Leicester City’s Brendan Rodgers

Meanwhile, the manager of Leicester City Brendan Rodgers has insisted that the referee was spot on with his decision. He said though Nketiah did not intentionally commit the foul it was a red card offence.

“It was a red card. I don’t think the kid meant it, he was stretching for it but the studs were up. I think they made the right decision”, he stressed.

In the other hand, Arsenal fans insisted that since Nketiah’s challenge on James Justin was a red card offence, the foul Vardy committed should also be a red card offence. They didn’t stop there, an Arsenal fan posted a video on Twitter showing a hard challenge a West Ham United player, Aaron Cresswell, made on an Arsenal player. The Cresswell was not awarded a red card but a yellow card. Hence, the fan thinks it should have been a red card if referees in the Premier League and the VAR are consistent.

Watch the tackle here:

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