Arsenal lost to Watford this weekend in somewhat controversial circumstances, but top professional referee Mark Clattenburg insists one of those situations was officiated correctly.
The Gunners led the weekend’s Premier League clash with Watford at the half-time interval, but ended up on the losing end thanks to a penalty and a possible offside goal.
There has been talk of Arsenal being hard-done by, and even Graham Poll claimed that the penalty decision was wrong, but Mark Clattenburg has studied the footage and insists there was in fact contact which resulted in bringing Richarlison to the ground.
“It was the correct decision to award the penalty as there was contact between him and Hector Bellerin, that wasn’t initiated by the forward,” Clattenburg said.
“It is interesting because I’ve looked at three angles of the incident; the first one looks like nothing, there appears to be no contact,” he continued.
“The second also looks like no contact, but a third angle that I’ve studied shows Bellerin’s left leg hit the right leg of Richarlison.
“There is contact. We as referees cannot work out if that’s sufficient contact to award a penalty.
“But what we try to understand is that if a player is at full pace and there is contact, then experience tells us that it will knock the attacker over.
“It’s like when a 110m hurdler slightly glances a hurdle at full pace: it knocks them down. It is very similar with football.
“If Bellerin touches the ball first then it’s play on, but because Richarlison touches the ball first and there is contact from the Arsenal full back that is consistent with the striker going to ground, then the referee Neil Swarbrick is right to give the penalty.”
Does it make it any better that the decision was right? Is it better feeling like the decisions went against us and we deserved at least a point?