Arsenal vs Tottenham: Manchester United legend criticises referee for awarding Gunners penalty

Arsenal vs Tottenham: Manchester United legend criticises referee for awarding Gunners penalty

Ayoola Kelechi 13:07 - 25.09.2023

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville has claimed that Arsenal did not deserve their penalty against Tottenham in the North London derby

Manchester United legend Gary Neville has criticised the decision to give Arsenal a penalty for Christian Romero’s hand ball during the North London Derby, insisting that there was nothing the Argentine defender could have done to avoid the situation. 

Arsenal gifted penalty in North London Derby

Arsenal and Tottenham played out an enthralling derby that ended in a 2-2 stalemate, but like most top fixtures in the Premier League, the match generated controversy, this time surrounding referee Robert Jones’ decision to award the hosts a penalty just after the break. 

Jones awarded a penalty after Spurs defender Romero, who had already scored an own goal in the match, appeared to handle the ball in his own box, and the referee was advised by VAR to call the infringement. 

var widgetLoaderConfig = widgetLoaderConfig || { CDN_URL: '', APP_LINK: 'desktop', API_URL: '', API_KEY: '2f852b4de2f3a5cf3188e74b33087bb4:2c18422f8e826a7d11aeed52edb2449e', LANG: 'en', REQUEST_INTERVAL: 30, ENABLE_BET_SLIP: false, AUTHOR: false, THEME: "light", TOURNAMENT_ORDER: "pulse_nigeria", LINK_OPTIONS_V2: { 'player' : { 'url': '/football/player/{playerId}' }, 'team' : { 'url': '/football/{teamId}' }, 'tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}' }, 'match': { 'url' : '/football/match/{matchId}', 'sort': { 'criteria': 'alphabetically', 'direction': 'asc' } }, 'configuration': { 'newWindow': false }, 'standings_tournament': { 'url': '/football/competition/{tournamentId}/standings' } } }; if (!document.querySelector('script[src=""]')) { window.setTimeout(function () { let scriptCss = document.createElement('link'); scriptCss.href = ''; scriptCss.rel = 'stylesheet'; scriptCss.type = 'text/css'; document.body.appendChild(scriptCss); let scriptTag = document.createElement('script'); scriptTag.src = ''; scriptTag.defer = true; scriptTag.onload = function () { window.setTimeout(function () { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }, 200); }; document.head.appendChild(scriptTag); }, 0); } else { new SMPWidgetsLoader(widgetLoaderConfig); }

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka converted the resulting spot kick, but there have been numerous debates since then about whether or not the penalty was worth giving at all.

Gary Neville slams penalty decision

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville was adamant that the penalty should not have been given, although he knew that not many, especially among the Arsenal contingent, would agree with his point of view. 

Speaking after the game as one of Sky Sports’ commentators, the former England international said, "Well as a defender, I would like to think that shouldn’t be given against me.

"When VAR looks at it 25 times, it tells me they’re not sure. Because of the desperation of the defender trying to block the ball, he puts his knee on the floor, his arm is raised, try it at home, for me that’s a natural position.

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville | Imago
Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville | Imago

"I think a lot will agree with me, a lot won’t but at the end of the day, if they look at it for so long, how can they be sure? I just think it’s a natural movement to try and stop the shot."

Arsenal’s lead from the penalty did not last long as Tottenham captain Heung-Min Son scored just one minute later to level the game for the second time and earn his team a valuable point at the Emirates Stadium

Related content