Emiliano Martinez hits back at Alexandre Lacazette over VAR controversy

Alexandre Lacazette was annoyed not to have won a penalty following an incident involving his former Arsenal teammate Emiliano Martinez
Alexandre Lacazette was annoyed not to have won a penalty following an incident involving his former Arsenal teammate Emiliano Martinez (Picture: BT Sport)

Emiliano Martinez insists he was an innocent party in the incident which Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette thought should have seen him awarded a penalty during Saturday’s game against Aston Villa.

The Gunners were ultimately condemned to a second successive defeat after Ollie Watkins’ second minute goal earned Dean Smith’s side a rare league double over Arsenal.

Mikel Arteta’s side failed to make a breakthrough against obdurate opposition but Lacazette thought he had earned his side the chance to draw level from the spot when he was wrestled to the floor by his former teammate.

VAR deemed it a subjective incident, however, and referee Chris Kavanagh was not invited to view the pitchside monitor.

Arsenal also felt they were on the receiving end of some contentious decisions during Tuesday’s defeat against Wolves, during which David Luiz was sent off for a professional foul, despite inadvertently making contact with Willian Jose.

Alexandre Lacazette and Emiliano Martinez were involved in a controversial incident during Arsenal's defeat against Aston Villa
Alexandre Lacazette and Emiliano Martinez were involved in a controversial incident during Arsenal’s defeat against Aston Villa (Picture: Twitter)

An appeal was subsequently rejected by the Football Association and after another perceived wrong, Lacazette responded to a video of his tussle with Martinez on Twitter with a message that read ‘another one’.

Martinez, however, who kept his second successive clean sheet against his old team, took issue with Lacazette’s version of events and replied with a message that said ‘You were pushing me first bro’.

BT Sport pundits Rio Ferdinand and Peter Crouch both thought Martinez should have been penalised, but that view was not shared by former Premier League referee Peter Walton.

He said: ‘First of all VAR did have a look at it, they have a silent check on every incident.

‘You could argue the goalkeeper was fouled, you could argue the goalkeeper was fouled by Lacazette. The point is VAR is not there to get the correct decision, it is there to identify clear and obvious errors from the referee, or if the referee has missed something.

‘From a subjective point of view has Lacazette used that as an opportunity to lean on the goalkeeper? We all agree in football there’s a certain amount of physical contact allowed. We don’t want VAR looking at incidents of that nature where it’s such a subjective viewpoint.

‘Because there’s such a subjective nature to that particular offence, VAR would’ve looked at it but it didn’t reach the threshold where it’s a clear and obvious offence.’

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