Arsenal FC

Ex-Premier League referee Mark Halsey revealed why VAR could have intervene to Gabriel Jesus penalty call and Bukayo Saka’s wrong booking

Referee Robert Jones chose not to award a penalty in the first half of Arsenal’s game at St Mary’s, despite Jesus clearly being held up by Duje Caleta-Car in the Southampton box.

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VAR referee Peter Bankes chose not to call Jones to review his decision, while Southampton scored a second-half equaliser to earn a point.

The decision highlights the inconsistency of refereeing in the Premier League. Last weekend, Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay and Brentford centre-back Kristoffer Ajer were both awarded penalties for similar offences.

Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty in the first half when Gabriel Jesus was brought down by Southampton’s Duje Caleta-Car,” Halsey wrote in his column for The Sun.

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The incident highlighted the inconsistency of referees’ possession decisions at the weekend, with Chelsea and Aston Villa benefiting from similar situations.

Caleta-Car was not next to the goal and tried to make life difficult for Jesus, but he committed an obvious holding foul and referee Robert Jones should have pointed to the penalty spot.”

If Jones didn’t see it, VAR official Peter Bankes must have intervened.”

Halsey also believes Saka should have avoided a yellow card in the first half after being cautioned for simulation.

Yes, Saka initiated the contact, but Jones didn’t need to get his book out,” Halsey wrote.

I think he could have kept playing and avoided getting into trouble.

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