VAR awards Arsenal penalty for Kai Havertz’s leg drag and harshly denies Bournemouth goal

Leading team in the Premier League, Arsenal, were lucky to get a penalty in the first half of their match against Bournemouth at home, as Kai Havertz seemed to overplay the supposed foul.

VAR awards Arsenal penalty for Kai Havertz's leg drag and harshly denies Bournemouth goal

Kai Havertz riled up many fans for his antics in winning a penalty against Bournemouth

Kai Havertz’s contribution to Arsenal’s game-winning goal against Bournemouth earned him praise as well as jeers.

Bukayo Saka’s opening 12-yard goal gave the Gunners a 1-0 lead against the Cherries at halftime. But if Havertz hadn’t pulled off his alleged theatrics in the Bournemouth box, Mikel Arteta’s team might never have had the opportunity.

The former Chelsea attacker appeared to purposefully drag his left leg along the ground in an extremely abnormal manner, according to replays. Havertz made contact with the goalie Mark Travers, who was unable to stop sliding in time, and Havertz promptly hit the deck as the whistle blew.

But it was sufficient to persuade referee David Coote and the VAR that a penalty was the rightful outcome. It happened shortly after Ryan Christie, who may have deserved a straight-out dismissal, challenged Saka with studs-ups and went unpunished.

Stan Collymore, a pundit, said: “Instead of giving these as penalties, if we’re serious about getting rid of simulation, this should be a yellow card for Havertz.” Miguel Delaney, a journalist, added, “A classic’manufactured’ penalty with how Havertz took the opportunity of the goalkeeper’s legs out.”

“Few players are smart enough to get these decisions right in their favor,” a fan commented in the interim. Havertz was obviously skilled at what he did.”

Leandro Trossard doubled the hosts’ leads in north London before their own goal was disallowed, further devasting Bournemouth. Before VAR determined that Dominic Solanke had fouled David Raya during the buildup, Antoine Semenyo believed he had brought his team back into the game.

VAR awards Arsenal penalty for Kai Havertz's leg drag and harshly denies Bournemouth goal

Bukayo Saka happily tucked away the resulting penalty (Image: Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

The decision’s softness infuriated fans, who felt that VAR luck was not on the Cherries’ side during their trip to north London. Arsenal would stay atop the standings for at least one more week if they win in Week 36. Meanwhile, Andoni Iraola will be left wondering what might have happened to his team if two VAR calls had gone in Bournemouth’s favor.

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