Arsenal: Dermot Gallagher surprised Gabriel Magalhaes handball wasn’t given as a penalty

Image for Arsenal: Dermot Gallagher surprised Gabriel Magalhaes handball wasn’t given as a penalty

Former referee Dermot Gallagher has claimed that Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes should have been penalised for a handball in their most recent game.

On Sunday, the Gunners claimed a huge three points in the Premier League at home as they won 3-2 against Liverpool to keep themselves top of the league.

Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka twice put Arsenal into the lead only for goals from Darwin Nunez and Roberto Firmino to peg them back on two occasions. However, Saka then struck a penalty to give Mikel Arteta’s men the win.

Things could have played out very differently though, had Liverpool been awarded a penalty in the first half when the ball struck Gabriel’s hand inside his own box.

Speaking about the incident on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch, Gallagher said he expected VAR to intervene and penalise the Brazilian defender.

He explained: “All I can think is that the referee and the VAR felt it was too close a proximity. What we’ve seen this season, if the arm’s out like that extended, it’s up at shoulder height, by in large it’s been penalised.

“So when I saw it, I saw the VAR, I expected it to be overturned. But they felt it was too close so that’s why it wasn’t given.”

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Seeing as Newcastle United defender Dan Burn conceded a penalty against Brentford when he blocked Aaron Hickey’s header with his arm in a similar fashion to the Gabriel incident, it’s easy to see why Arsenal may have been a little lucky to have the ball go their way.

However, according to the handball rule, the referees must take into account the proximity of the ball and the player. Seeing as Gabriel was so close to the cross which hit his arm, you can see why VAR opted to give him the benefit of the doubt.

Fortunately for the Gunners, the call went their way and they made the most of it by picking up the win against Liverpool thanks to a penalty of their own. Yet again, though, it’s another game week where inconsistency from the officials is a key talking point.

Do you think the penalty should have been given against Gabriel?





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