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'Watch it again!' - Emery baffled by VAR decision to overturn Arsenal winner

5:09 AM SGT 28/10/19
Sokratis Arsenal 2019-20
The Spaniard remains a big fan of VAR but believes it wasn't used correctly on Sunday as his side were denied victory

Arsenal coach Unai Emery is adamant his side's late goal against Crystal Palace should have been allowed to stand as he questioned the referee's use of VAR. 

Defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos appeared to have handed the Gunners all three points on Sunday only for VAR to intervene and rule Arsenal committed a foul in build-up to his strike.

The decision proved a costly one for Emery's side, who had let a two-goal lead slip and were ultimately forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at the Emirates. 

While the Gunners coach remains convinced VAR can have a positive impact on the game, he believes referee Martin Atkinson needed to use the system better to ensure Arsenal's late goal was allowed to stand.

"I think he needed to watch it again. He needed to do that," Emery told reporters after the game.

"VAR is positive and it will be better, but only when them and us can manage it better with the rhythm and the decisions. I checked [the goal] in the dressing room after we finished the match.

"VAR is very important, above all for the referees because it's very important to reduce their mistakes. VAR has come in and we've decided to have it for this reason. When the referees use it in the right way, I think it's going to be amazing because it will reduce the referees' mistakes.

"Now, we have started not checking a lot of actions because we don't want to stop the rhythm or the pace of the match. OK, but we also need to check the important ones.

"For example, against Bournemouth the penalty on [Nicolas] Pepe. Last week, the penalty on Sokratis. They were very clear and in the match, it's a penalty. Ok, they didn't check because the referee didn't watch it and decided he didn't want to check it.

"This evening, maybe this week, they are starting to check more because they are thinking they need to check more actions because a lot of difficult decisions for the referee are coming, and they want to take more time to check that.

"Also, for me the penalty was perfect because they decided it was a penalty. It's perfect because it helped the referee in this action. But our goal, the third goal, he is not fouled. That is not a foul. Who is the person who checked that? If the referee watched that action on the TV, I am sure he would not decide that it was a foul. In the office with the TV, I don't know who the person is who decides this."

Aside from failing to secure all three points on Sunday, Arsenal's night was also soured after captain Granit Xhaka was substituted to boos by the home fans with the Swiss international reacting angrily as a result

Emery conceded post-match that Xhaka's reaction was 'wrong' but refused to comment on whether the armband will now be given to someone else. 

After their draw with Palace, the Gunners now sit fifth in the Premier League, four points shy of fourth-placed Chelsea