VAR call helps Arsenal secure 1-1 draw at Man United

Gunners striker Aubameyang scores equaliser after Tuanzebe gives ball away

Arsenal's English defender Calum Chambers (L), Arsenal's Brazilian defender David Luiz (2nd L) Manchester United's defender Axel Tuanzebe (C) watch the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 30, 2019.  AFP / Paul ELLIS
Arsenal's English defender Calum Chambers (L), Arsenal's Brazilian defender David Luiz (2nd L) Manchester United's defender Axel Tuanzebe (C) watch the ball during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 30, 2019.  AFP / Paul ELLIS

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a goal that required VAR overturning a poor offside decision to earn a 1-1 draw at Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday.

There was a touch of controversy about the goal, with the assistant referee’s flag already raised when Aubameyang chipped past United goalkeeper David De Gea for the 58th-minute equaliser.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer complained to the fourth official that the referee had already blown his whistle before Aubameyang took his shot.

When the goal was reviewed, Aubameyang was clearly being played onside by United defender Harry Maguire, directly in front of the assistant referee.

United went in front through Scott McTominay in first-half stoppage time, with the midfielder’s shot from the edge of the area taking a slight deflection off the shoulder of Arsenal defender Sokratis and flying into the roof of the net.

The result lifted Arsenal into fourth place on goal difference after seven games and left United in 10th place.

Aubameyang became the first Arsenal player to score seven goals in the first seven games of a Premier League campaign since Dennis Bergkamp in the 1997-98 season.

Traditionally one of the biggest matches in English soccer, this Man United-Arsenal fixture pitted the teams in 11th and eighth places at kickoff.

United had never been as low down the standings heading into a match against Arsenal in the history of the Premier League.

The poor quality on show highlighted how far the teams had fallen, with a slippery surface on a wet night in Manchester hardly helping.

“Thoughts on the game so far without using a bad word?” former Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas tweeted during the first half. “Try to be creative.”

Even United’s goal had a touch of the farcical about it, with Granit Xhaka, Arsenal’s recently confirmed full-time captain, ducking his head as McTominay took aim.

It meant the game opened up in the second half, with Arsenal committing more players forward and showing more intensity with their pressing.

The equaliser came when Axel Tuanzebe, filling in out of position at left back in his first league start for United since May 2017, gave the ball away under pressure in front of his own area.

Bukayo Saka played in Aubameyang, who cut inside and applied a deft chipped finish.

Updated: October 1, 2019 01:59 AM

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