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SPORTS UPDATE

EPL: Ref admits Odegaard foul was soft, says Arsenal boss Arteta

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has said ref Paul Tierney admitted a “soft” VAR cost them in defeat at Manchester United.

Gabriel Martinelli put past David de Gea after a brilliant through ball from Martin Odegaard, who was later adjudged by VAR to have fouled Bruno Fernandes in the build-up.

While Arsenal continued to create chances, United star Antony marked his debut with a goal ten minutes before half-time to give the home side a lead heading into a break.

Bukayo Saka got Arteta’s side back on level terms just before the hour mark, though Marcus Rashford was able to exploit increasingly openly spaces in the Arsenal backline, scoring a brace to wrap up three points.

Of the decision to disallow his team’s goal, Arteta said: “The referee said it was a really soft decision – we just ask for consistency, today we disallowed the goal again, there is nothing we can do unfortunately now.”

Asked of Arsenal’s performance, the Gunners boss said: “We had a period of 8-10 minutes it took us a while to get in the game and after that is was mostly Arsenal, the way we dominated and the amount of chances we created.

“The team reacted and I said the game was there for the taking if we play with courage, we did, we could have scored another two or three – you have to kill the game, we gave the ball away in a dangerous area and against them it is killing you.

“We stepped in and they took advantage of that, it is really disappointing because for these boys to play the way they did here, big credit to them but we need a better result.”

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