Arsenal problems continues- Granit Xhaka’s future, VAR drama saga revealed

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Arsenal’s problems continued yesterday (Sunday) as they drew 2-2 with Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium.

The Gunners threw away a two-goal lead in north London as they were pegged back by the Eagles, after Sokratis and David Luiz had given Arsenal a 2-0 advantage early on.

But a Luka Milivojevic penalty and a close range header from Jordan Ayew helped Roy Hodgson’s men fight back for a point.

Arsenal remain in fifth in the Premier League as a result, but the Gunners are now four points behind Chelsea in fourth place.

The result did not tell the whole story of the game though, with controversy surrounding VAR and criticism of Arsenal’s captain Granit Xhaka over his actions during the game.

Below, we take a look at the latest Arsenal news following the game.

Granit Xhaka’s future

Granit Xhaka is the player many Arsenal fans are talking about following the 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace – and not for the right reasons.

The Arsenal captain has hit the headlines after his exchange with supporters as he was substituted in the game at the Emirates Stadium, with the Swiss international cupping his ears towards fans as he was booed by sections of the crowd, before he took off his shirt as he made his way down the tunnel.

His actions prompted criticism from fans and pundits alike, while Arsenal boss Unai Emery admitted that the 27-year-old was “wrong” in how he reacted.

But Emery has refused to be drawn on Xhaka’s future as Arsenal captain, amid questions over whether or not he will continue as skipper.

That may not yet be known, but in the short term, Arsenal legend Ian Wright has sent the midfielder a clear message over what he should do next.

“I don’t like any player to get booed. It’s not the best time for any player,” he said, speaking on BBC programme Match of the Day 2.

“This is the captain. Now I think they are frustrated with the fact he has not run off the pitch. I’ve seen him substituted before and he has bolted off the pitch.

“He’s goading the fans. We’re talking about fans that have watched him in the four years he has been there have a handful of good games and he’s treating the fans like that.

“He should apologise. That’s the captain. He should have apologised already. That’s the guy they have chosen as the captain, and that is not the case that is the end of it, but that’s not a captain’s behaviour.”

VAR reaction

Granit Xhaka may be one of the big talking points from the game yesterday, but Arsenal fans were also left fuming at something else – VAR.

Two decisions went against Arsenal in the game, with a penalty decision overturned in the first half as Palace were awarded a spot kick after a VAR review, after Wilfried Zaha had initially been booked for a perceived dive by referee Martin Atkinson.

Arsenal then had a goal disallowed in the closing stages, with Sokratis seeing his second goal of the game  ruled out following a review.

That led to an angry reaction from Arsenal supporters, although Unai Emery was more measured in his response.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, he said: “This evening, maybe this week, they are starting to check more because they are thinking they need to check more actions because a lot of difficult decisions for the referee are coming, and they want to take more time to check that.

“Also, for me the penalty was perfect because they decided it was a penalty. It’s perfect because it helped the referee in this action. But our goal, the third goal, he is not fouled. That is not a foul. Who is the person who checked that? If the referee watched that action on the TV, I am sure he would not decide that it was a foul. In the office with the TV, I don’t know who the person is who decides this.”

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