- Arsenal were denied a penalty by VAR in their match against Manchester United, which caused confusion among football fans.
- Referee Mike Dean initially believed it was a penalty, but after seeing several replays, he agreed with the decision to overturn it.
- Gary Neville expressed surprise at the high bar set by the on-field review and suggested a change in policy.
Arsenal were denied a penalty by VAR during their Premier League clash at the Emirates against Manchester United - and Mike Dean's comments during the incident were rather interesting. Kai Havertz was brought down in the penalty area by Aaron Wan-Bissaka and referee Anthony Taylor pointed to the penalty spot. At first glance, it looked a certain penalty.
But Sky Sports viewers had the benefit of having legendary referee Mike Dean on commentary duty. Peter Drury and Gary Neville were the two main commentators for the big clash and had the option of throwing to Dean if anything controversial happened. They did that on multiple occasions during the game in north London.
One of those incidents came in the second half when Havertz went down under Wan-Bissaka's challenge. The on-pitch official, Taylor, thought it was a penalty and so too did Dean at first.
Mike Dean's reaction to Arsenal's penalty decision
"Yeah that’s definitely a penalty Wan-Bissaka makes clear contact with Havertz," Dean said at first. Even after looking at several replays, Dean was convinced it was a spot-kick.
But then Taylor was called over to the monitor by VAR Jarred Gillett and, ultimately, withdraw the award of the penalty. To which Dean was heard saying: "Yep that’s the correct decision that’s not a penalty for me."
"There's not a lot of contact," Dean added. "On VAR I wouldn't give it myself. It looks like a penalty from where we are, but there is minimal contact, hence why Anthony Taylor has come to the monitor. On second glance, it's not enough for a penalty in my opinion."
Many football fans were left confused at Dean's change of heart on the back of the overturned decision.
Meanwhile, Neville was surprised, saying: "What shocked me about the penalty incident and the on-field review is the high bar they've set themselves. It feels like there's been a change in policy on that one."
What happened during Arsenal vs Man Utd?
Arsenal and Man Utd played out a thrilling match at the Emirates on Sunday afternoon which the Gunners won in the 97th minute thanks to two goals in injury time. Mikel Arteta's side fell behind when Man Utd caught them on the break. Erik ten Hag's side had been under immense pressure but that was released when Christian Eriksen found Rashford who curled a beautiful effort past Aaron Ramsdale.
However, United's lead lasted 90 seconds as Arsenal responded in style. Gabriel Martinelli found Martin Odegaard who swept the ball home superbly from outside the penalty area. It was level at the break but the second half belonged to last season's runners-up.
First came Havertz's penalty appeal which was overturned by VAR. It looked as though the decision would cost Arsenal two points. In fact, with minutes left to play Alejandro Garnacho thought he had won the game for the travellers when he was sent clear and finished past Ramsdale. However, VAR declared that he was marginally offside as William Saliba stepped up to play the Argentine offside.
And just when it looked as though the match was petering out into a draw, Declan Rice brought down Saka's corner in the 97th minute and his deflected effort beat Andre Onana at the near post. Arsenal then rubbed salt into the wounds when Gabriel Jesus went through, cut onto his right foot and wrapped up all three points in style.