EPL Rumours: Phil Dowd Set To Be Investigated Over Arsenal-Newcastle Match

Callum D'SouzaSenior Writer IFebruary 7, 2011

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 05:  Jack Wilshire of Arsenal talks to referee Phil Dowd during the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Arsenal at St James' Park on February 5, 2011 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.  (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

In one of the most exciting and goal-engulfed weekends of English football, arguably the main talking point was the second half demise of Arsenal, who managed to squander a four-goal lead in the final 22 minutes. Arsene Wenger's men have now become the first team in the history of English football to squander a four-goal lead.

Theo Walcott gave Arsenal the lead 43 seconds into the match before a goal from Johan Djourou and a double from Robin van Persie had the Gunners four goals ahead with in 26 minutes. However, four dubious second half goals have the footballing world stunned.

Not without controversy, though; the Gunners were forced to endure the final half hour with 10 men after Abou Diaby reacted poorly to a precarious challenge from Joey Barton. The North London giants also lost defensive maestro Johan Djourou shortly after the main break but the main controversy appears to be the rumoured corruption of referee Phil Dowd, who many fans feel had a sterling role in Newcastle historic come back.

So much so that the International Police Agency, according to EPL Talk, is set to investigate Dowd over his performance.

The English referee did not have a game to be proud of. Diaby's sending off was warranted after the Frenchman pushed Joey Barton to the ground; however, Barton had made a number of horrendous challenges during the game but failed to even get  a warning. One particular challenge on Andrei Arshavin was an almost certain straight red, but Dowd failed to offer any punishment

Newcastle's captain Kevin Nolan literally wrestled Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczensy to the ground but the incident went unnoticed except for Szczensy receiving a yellow card—yes, that's right the Arsenal keeper received the punishment. There is also the dispute of the second penalty. Two of Newcastle's four strikes were penalties. The first many see as legitimate after Laurent Koscienly brought down Newcastle striker Leon Best.

However, the second penalty bemused all. Dowd awarded the spot kick because Koscienly had allegedly some how fouled Mike Willamson from a set piece; however, replays show there was no contact whatsoever. Barton converted both penalties.

Arsenal are set to release a statement about the investigation shortly.