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Ex-Premier League referee explains why Tottenham didn’t get a penalty in the north London derby

By Ben Browning Published: September 27, 2021 1:25 pm

Last Updated: September 27, 2021 1:30 pm

Arsenal demolish Spurs A first-half blitz from Arsenal which saw them score three times handed them a heavy victory over their bitter north London rivals on Sunday afternoon.

Roared on by a jubilant home crowd, Emile Smith Rowe opened the scoring, arriving late to turn in a Bukayo Saka cross. It was then Smith Rowe’s turn to provide for his teammates, finding Aubameyang who made it 2-0 after just 25 minutes.

Happy Sunday Gunners ❤️ pic.twitter.com/9yRZs0gkSV

— Bukayo Saka (@BukayoSaka87) September 26, 2021

It got better yet, as Bukayo Saka got his name on the scoresheet before halftime, which saw some Spurs fans refuse to take their seats for the second half.

Although Spurs found a late consolation through Heung-Min Son, they were a well-beaten side on the day, and looked to be lacking direction, desire and ideas in what became their third successive defeat, during which time they have conceded 9 goals.

Should Kane have had a penalty? One moment that sparked confusion and controversy in the game came midway through the second half, when a coming together between Ben White and Harry Kane looked as if it would cause a penalty to be given to Tottenham.

Somewhat astonishingly to many Arsenal fans, no penalty was forthcoming, and the Gunners remained in control of the game.

Surely that was a penalty on Kane? Looked blatant to me.

Anyway, not given.

— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) September 26, 2021

Speaking to Sky Sports today, former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher revealed that he thought it was a penalty, saying:

“I think he’s [Ben White is] lucky,”

“He doesn’t get the ball, I think Kane gets there quickly. He’s just a bit slow and he catches him. I wouldn’t have been surprised if a penalty was given there.”

However, he was also on hand to explain why it was not given, confirming:

“What I would say, it didn’t meet the threshold for an obvious error. The VAR felt it wasn’t a clear and obvious error.

“I thought they were checking if it was inside or outside [the penalty area] first of all, but they thought not.

“That’s a decision where I think VAR is in a tough position because if the referee gives a penalty I don’t think it will go against him either.”

✅ Penalty

❌ Didn’t meet the threshold for a “clear and obvious error”

Dermot Gallagher feels Arsenal were lucky not to concede a penalty with Ben White on Harry Kane pic.twitter.com/hGOTfjapIF

— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 27, 2021

Had Spurs been awarded the penalty, they may have begun finding a way back into a game that they seemed completely out of. However, despite the controversial manner, they ultimately got the result that they deserved for their performance at the Emirates.

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