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Aston Villa could have seen a different result against Arsenal if they were awarded one penalty

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Aston Villa had a penalty shout in the 41st minute against Arsenal in their most recent match. However, the referee was quick to let the play continue and the foul was not even checked by VAR. Consequently, Arsenal went on to win the game 1-0, thanks to Saka’s strike from outside the box. However, the score could have been different if VAR had checked Partey’s action on Tyrone Mings.

Arsenal are fighting for fourth place and they got the win they needed to push for it. However, due to strong competition for 4th place, even a draw would have been a poor result for the Gunners. They could have lost their position in future fixtures if Villa had taken two points off them. Nevertheless, that was not the case and Arsenal are still the favorites to finish in the top four.

On the other hand, Aston Villa are currently placed 9th on the Premier League table. The Lions are 12 points behind West Ham United. The Hammers hold the 7th position which is also the last spot for a European spot. A 7th place finish will guarantee the club a place in the UEFA Conference League. However, Aston Villa will have to grind a lot to reach near West Ham.

At this moment, every point is crucial for Aston Villa and they could have gotten that point against Arsenal. The Video Assistant Referee did not have a check on how Partey was holding Mings to properly attack the corner taken by Douglas Luiz. That could have been a penalty but it had no shouts as Mings did not go to the ground.

What could have been done to avoid the reaction for not giving a penalty for Aston Villa?

It was not a controversial decision since Partey did not take him to the ground but also he did not let him attack properly. Also, Partey holding off Mings was not very visible to everyone and the majority of the people are of the opinion that it was not a penalty. However, the incident could have at least been checked by VAR to avoid any wrongdoings against Aston Villa.

BBC pundit Mathew Howarth is of the opinion that it could have been a penalty to Villa. This is what he wrote in the BBC’s live report,

“I’ve just seen a replay of that Arsenal corner. Thomas Partey had his arms wrapped around Tyrone Mings as the Villa captain looked to get on the end of Douglas Luiz’s ball in. No intervention from the video assistant referee on this occasion.”

If only that had happened with a bigger club, it probably would have been a bigger issue. The inconsistencies of refereeing have been heavily criticized since VAR has been introduced. Although VAR was brought to avoid incorrect decisions, it has only brought more controversies to the game. It has been crucial in making very important decisions but it still needs some time to improve.

If Aston Villa carries this luck till the end of this season, they will only finish in the mid-table without actually challenging West Ham. A bit of luck is needed in order to succeed but it becomes a lot more upsetting when a club’s fortune is decided by the incompetence of refereeing. Nevertheless, officials could work better if they have a closer eye on set-pieces as that is when it is difficult to spot such fouls.

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