Sokratis Slams VAR After Goal Disallowed in Arsenal Draw with Crystal Palace

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Arsenal FC looks on during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on October 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Sokratis Papastathopoulos has hit out at the Premier League's use of video assistant referee (VAR) after his winning goal was disallowed in Arsenal's 2-2 draw against Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The Greek centre-back opened the scoring for the Gunners at the Emirates Stadium, and the hosts were two up inside 10 minutes when David Luiz also netted.

However, Luka Milivojevic's penalty and Jordan Ayew's 52nd-minute header drew Palace level.

Sokratis put the ball in the net again late on, but it was ruled out after a long VAR delay due to a Calum Chambers foul, which looked soft:

The 31-year-old was also denied a penalty in last week's 1-0 defeat to Sheffield United, and he vented his fury after the draw with Palace, per Charles Watts of Goal:

"In a league like the Premier League, the best league in the world, the VAR has to be used in a better way. Last week it was a clear penalty, they didn't use VAR and we lose the game. This week, it was a goal. I watch again and Calum did nothing. We lose three points.

"Of course, we also made mistakes, we can speak about those mistakes, why we conceded and why we didn't score. We can discuss about a lot of things, but last week and this week, if the VAR is used better we have four points more. And if we had 19 points today it's a different thing. Of course, we have to improve, we have to work and do better things. But we have also to watch what happened."

After back-to-back winless games in the league, Arsenal sit fifth in the English top flight on 16 points:

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They are in danger of being cut adrift in the race for the top four and have some tricky games coming up.

As well as a Carabao Cup game against Liverpool and UEFA Europa League match versus Portugal's Vitoria Guimaraes, the Gunners face upcoming league fixtures against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Leicester City.

VAR controversies aside, Arsenal are not playing well enough to have much confidence of picking up six points from those matches.

Wolves have not enjoyed the best season in 2019-20 so far, but they invariably raise their game for the bigger matches and recently beat Manchester City 2-0 away.

Leicester, meanwhile, are arguably the front-runners for third place in the Premier League this season.

Brendan Rodgers has them playing exciting football, and they are fresh from a Premier League record-equalling 9-0 win at Southampton.