“Definitely was a penalty” Saka insists it was a penalty despite controversy

Arsenal deservedly defeated world champions Chelsea in their own backyard last night but it was not a win without controversy.

Arsenal led 3-2 with just minutes to go when Chelsea defender César Azpilicueta was adjudged to have pulled down Bukayo Saka in the penalty area and the ref awarded a penalty to the Gunners.

That decision sparked a furious reaction from Azpilicueta, who was convinced that he was the one being fouled.

VAR reviewed the decision and agreed with the ref and the decision to award a penalty was upheld.

Replays did show that Saka had hold of Azpilicueta’s arm but the defender’s arm did not get there via some form of magic, it was put across Saka by Azpilicueta in the first place and so it was the right call from the officials, it was all initiated by the Blues defender.

Saka was asked about the controversy and Azpilicueta angry reaction and while he understood the reaction, he also maintained it was a penalty.

“I’m trying to get into the box and he’s holding me for about 5 seconds,” he told Sky Sports as quoted by Eurosport. “I have to go down.

“Of course he’s going to be angry at me, if I was him I’d be angry but it s what it is and I think it was a penalty.

“The ref didn’t overturn it, so it definitely was a penalty.”

Just Arsenal says

Anyone criticising the penalty decision really is being cheeky. No club suffers controversial decisions like Arsenal and if one goes our way then good, it is about time.

Azpilicueta committed the first foul and Saka milked it, good on him, about time our players became a little streetwise.

Tags Bukayo Saka Cesar Azpilicueta


  1. It was a clear penalty, am not sure what’s confusion about.

    Why is it so unsettling, to opponents if we should get a little spot kick in the box or celebrate a victory.

    These are things other team do every week

  2. Agreed. Cesar held him, Saka took advantage of that in the last split second by holding the arm that was already tugging & holding on to him for a few seconds prior. Its a penalty, a smart penalty & better was Saka taking it himself after the Euro final, plus the youngsters stepping up again when needed.

    Can’t believe how young all these boys are & well done Eddie for his goals last night which means Lacas time is probably done at Arsenal, isn’t a bad thing considering Eddie has near matched his tally for league goals already.

    Saka & Smithrowe both with 10 league goals each this season with 6 games left. Well done 👏

    I still think Top4 is a big ask but if we can beat Utd this weekend then we have a great chance, Spurs away to Brentford isn’t an easy game either.

    Think we all have to admit as a fan this season has been pretty damn good. The title is close, Top 3 & 4 is up for grabs as is Europa spots then the fight for the drop isn’t any where decided yet.

    These last 6 or 5 games for some is going to be so interesting. I don’t think I can remember a season where everything is so close coming into May. Hopefully we have a happy ending and back in the champions league.

  3. Clearly a penalty. End of story. I’m really glad with the performance of yesterday. Good in-game management from the coach and hunger from the boys. That said, we’ve been here before. With the way United played against Liverpool, beating them would be easier than beating eleven dead chickens. I only hope that we can turn up for that game cos like I said earlier, we’ve all been here before. One extraordinarily good performance followed by some atrocious performances which will completely undo all the good work and suck out every joy we’ve had. If our boys can turn up and Arteta doesn’t suffer his usual brain fart, then we should win that game by a score line of 3-0, especially if Ronaldo doesn’t play. And should we win it, then too four will surely be very achievable. I’m desperate to see champions league football back in the Emirates

  4. I dont understand what the controversy is about, its a clear penalty, crystal clear. The lads played a great match and except for a few defensive alarms, it was good to see such a performance after a long time. We were not scoring goals and suddenly we score 4 and that too against one of the meanest defences in the League. The selection of Nketiah ahead of Laca was a master stroke by Arteta because Nketiah wanted to prove a point and anyway Laca seems to be finding it difficult to either score or create. Also I appreciate MA for selecting Elneny over ASL, as the experienced Egyptian was the key to intercepting so many Chelsea attacks. ESR must start every match henceforth, unless unfit, he gives us so much impetus in attack. So much for the victory, I hope MA plays the same line up against Man Utd. and we win again. Every game from now on should be treated like a Cup final, we shouldnt let go of our aim to be in the top 4 after being so close to it. Its high time a club of Arsenal’s stature made it to the CL.

  5. Saka “bought” the penalty and well done to him but some of the fickle fans who say it was a penalty, just remember next time something like that happens against us. Looking through rose tinted glasses it was a penalty looking through clear glasses Saka grabbed asplequetas hand and held on for dear life while he fell. Was aspelequeta stupid, yes, was Saka clever yes. Would we have all said a penalty the other end, NO.

    1. @Reggie
      Big Ups to Saka for his quick thinking and being able to capitalise on it.

  6. What “controversy”? When the ball is miles away and a defender totally ignores the play and concentrates entirely on pulling down an attacker and a penalty results, correctly, what can possibly be described as “controversial” about that?



    There are always dullards around in all things in life but the decision was 100% correct, as Gooners know!

  7. One doesn’t have to be a dullard to question the decisions this referee comes up with, especially where The Arsenal are concerned.
    Have to admit, I was surprised he gave it, being my cynical self and suggest it was because the game was over anyway.
    A clear cut penalty, as confirmed by the opinion of var.

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