Mikel Arteta revealed referee Paul Tierney told him the decision to disallow Gabriel Martinelli’s first half goal against Manchester United was ‘soft’.
The Gunners thought they had taken the lead at Old Trafford when Martin Odegaard pickpocketed Christian Eriksen and nudged the ball towards Bukayo Saka.
The Arsenal winger played a perfect through ball, set Martinelli away and the Brazilian forward clipped the ball over David de Gea and put his side into what he thought was a 12th advantage.
United’s players immediately remonstrated with Tierney and when the official was encouraged to watch the incident involving Odegaard and Eriksen on the pitch side monitor, the outcome was inevitable.
Revealing the details of his conversation with the match official afterwards, 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 say unfortunately now.’
Odegaard agreed with his manager’s assessment of the incident, adding: ‘In my opinion it’s never a foul.
‘I think the referee also sees it and he says play on.
‘It’s a soft challenge and you know for VAR to come in it needs to be clear and obvious, they said it a lot of times and for me it is very, very soft.
‘On the camera you can always make it a little bit worse, but for me it was never a foul. The referee said play on he saw it on the pitch it’s very frustrating.’
On the disappointing of surrendering their unbeaten start to the new season, meanwhile, Arteta added: ‘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.
‘We have to learn that you need to have so much discipline in these games, any detail they are going to materialise because they have world class players all over the pitch.’