VAR took center stage in a pulsating encounter at Emirates Stadium as Crystal Palace fought back from two goals down to secure a battling 2-2 draw with Arsenal.
In a game that saw Granit Xhaka clash with his own fans following his second-half substitution, Roy Hodgson’s side benefitted from two VAR calls after Arsenal had raced into a two-goal advantage following goals from Sokratis Papastathopoulos and David Luiz.
The first came when the visitors were correctly awarded a penalty after Calum Chambers felled Wilfried Zaha in the penalty area. Zaha, who was heavily linked with a move to the Gunners in the summer, was initially booked for diving until the Video Assistant Referee intervened to award the spot-kick and Luka Milivojevic made no mistake.
Palace drew level at the start of the second half, Jordan Ayew heading in James McArthur’s cross minutes before Xhaka’s clash with the Arsenal fans.
The Switzerland international’s substitution was met with ironic cheers before the Gunners faithful jeered him off for what they perceived as a lack of urgency leaving the field. He then cupped his ears to the fans before removing his shirt and heading straight down the tunnel.
The Gunners then thought they had won the game when Sokratis struck in the 83rd minute but they were denied by VAR, who adjudged Chambers to have fouled Milivojevic in the build-up.
“VAR is positive but at the moment it is not working well,” said Arsenal boss Unai Emery.
It ended all square, much to the frustration of the home fans, who saw their side lose ground in the race for the top four. The final whistle sparked jubilant celebrations from Palace and their supporters as they continued their fine start to the season.
Source: Sky Sports