Why did VAR rule out Nketiah goal & give Arsenal penalty but didn't award Man Utd spot-kick for Cedric handball?

Cedric Jadon Sancho Craig Pawson Bruno Fernandes 2021-22Getty Images

VAR has been a regular source of controversy ever since being introduced in the Premier League, and it caused confusion and outrage again in the first half of Arsenal's meeting with Manchester United on Saturday.

Eddie Nketiah appeared to have put Arsenal 2-0 ahead against United - but VAR disallowed the goal for offside, only to give a penalty to the Gunners instead, which Bukayo Saka scored.

There was controversy just before that too as Arsenal defender Cedric Soares appeared to handle the ball in the Gunners penalty area, but nothing was given.

So why did this strange series of incidents occur and what decisions were made? GOAL takes a look...

What happened with the Saka penalty?

Arsenal appeared to have gone two ahead in a crucial battle for the Premier League top four, when a slick Martin Odegaard pass from midfield was flicked on by Saka for Nketiah to finish past David de Gea.

However, the referee was instructed by VAR that Nketiah was in an offside position when he got the ball, so the goal was disallowed - but matters did not stop there.

As Saka flicked it on, he was clumsily fouled by Alex Telles, and so on-pitch referee Craig Pawson was summoned to look at the incident on his pitchside monitor.

The penalty was given after video review, and was dispatched by Saka to put Arsenal 2-0 up - albeit not in the manner they originally expected.

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What about the Cedric handball incident?

In the first half, the Arsenal right back went to the floor under pressure from Jadon Sancho. As Cedric clambered on all fours to try and get back on his feet, his hand made contact with the ball and appeared to drag it away.

Despite television cameras clearly picking this up, VAR did not call on Pawson to review the incident - with Sancho and his United team-mates left roaring in frustration.

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