The Tuesday’s meeting at the Emirate Stadium which ended 1-1 was marred by the decisions of the centre-referee, Chris Kavanagh, and the Video Assistant Referee (VAR). Leicester City‘s Jamie Vardy committed what is believed to be a foul on Arsenal‘s Shokdran Mustafi in the 42nd minute of the match but the referee and the VAR overlooked it.
In the second half, Eddie Nketiah committed a foul on Leicester City’s James Justin four minutes after he came on for Alexandre Lacazette. The referee gave a yellow card for the challenge. However, the VAR called the referee to review the challenge and afterwards, Nketiah was shown a red card.
Most critics of Chris Kavanagh and the VAR’s decision believe that Vardy’s challenge on Mustafi ought to be a red card offence as it could have led to an injury to the eyes of Mustafi. But to the dismay of the critics especially Arsenal’s manager, Mikel Arteta, nothing happened.
“I don’t understand the rules since I have been in this country I have never seen a referee check any of the images”, Arteta said after the match. “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.”
Arsenal football club thought the controversial decision could be overturned, hence, they appealed it but the English FA saw no problem with it.
As it stands, the 21-year-old England youngster will not be available for Arsenal’s must-win Premier League matches against Tottenham and Liverpool. The pacing striker will not also be available for next week’s FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
This season, Eddie Nketiah has shown great improvement under Mikel Arteta despite having a more experienced striker, Alexandre Lacazette, to compete with in terms of having regular playing time.
Amid the competition, Nketiah has managed to play 33 matches in all competitions, that is, 1376 minutes out of possible 2,970 minutes in those 33 matches. In those minutes, he has scored 9 goals and has made 1 assist.
As for his club, their dream of making it to a Champions League spot is not over as they are currently sitting on the 8th spot with 50 points, 9 points away from the 4th placed Leicester City. They will need to win all their remaining 4 matches and hope that the teams above them lose theirs in order to make it that far.