‘It is clear and obvious’ Pundit slams the decision not to award Arsenal a penalty

Rio Ferdinand has slammed VAR after it failed to award Arsenal a penalty in their match against Manchester City.

The game ended 2-1 after City turned the game on its head with a very late winner.

The Sky Blues should have conceded a penalty in the first half when Ederson tripped Martin Odegaard while going for the ball.

VAR didn’t intervene to give Arsenal a spot-kick. However, when Granit Xhaka tripped Bernardo Silva in the second half, it did and awarded City a penalty.

It was yet another day when VAR was as inconsistent as ever.

Former Manchester United defender, Ferdinand is convinced Arsenal should have had a penalty for the Ederson challenge.

He said via The Daily Mail: ‘I do not understand with VAR how it was not given.

‘It is clear and obvious, it gets on my nerves, it clouds everything.’

Just Arsenal Opinion

VAR has been inconsistent since it was introduced into English football and unfortunately, it is not getting better.

The teams who get the lucky decisions have to be thankful, while those at the end of the inconsistent decisions have to deal with it as best as they can.

However, if we had taken some of our clear-cut chances in the game, we could have pulled clear of City in the first half.

Losing 2-1 with 10 men against the Premier League champions is not a terrible result and should inspire Arsenal’s stars to look for the 3 points in their next match.

Tags Rio Ferdinand


  1. Arsenal pen not a clear and obvious error, that is why VAR didn’t overturn it. If it was given by the ref, it wouldn’t have been overturned either because of the same rule. Xhaka didn’t trip Silva, he pulled his shirt, which the ref missed, so it was a clear and obvious error that the ref overturned when he saw what xhaka did. The article says there was a trip, that is wrong. VAR got it right by the rules it works under.

    1. Got to disagree with you Reggie. A shirt pull on it’s own does not automatically result in a penalty. Otherwise we would see four or five penalties every game. The Maguire pull back on Tomiyasu, an Odegaard foul on someone in the same game, they were all clear pull backs anf reviewed but not assessed as penalties.

      If the PL wants to start calling every pull back/shirt pull a penalty then fine, crack on. But the inconsistency is pathetic and as I wrote below, seems to be unique to the PL.

      1. If Xhaka had just pulled his shirt, he would most probably have got away with it but the tussle and shirt pull together and because it looked like a penalty, VAR intervened and then the shirt pull was under review, so it became an issue. Ask youself, if it happened down the other end, you would want a penalty? Please dont say you wouldn’t.

        1. Would I want a penalty? Of course I would. I want penalties when a player looks at an Arsenal player the wrong way. Would I think it was a penalty? No. I thought that was the issue we were discussing.

          Ultimately what I want, and what most supporters want, is for the PL to sort this out and offer a level of refereeing that is consistent with both the level of play and the level of officiating that is offered in virtually every other major football league and every sport that uses VAR.

        2. Yes it’s strange how Peter Walton said on TV the penalty was given for the shirt pull that was highlighted by the dive. Clear and obvious dive watch it and tell me it wasn’t a dive.

    2. Surely the referee thought Ederson got the ball? That is why he didn’t give a penalty?….. If he thought Ederson got the ball he has made a clear and obvious error? He has in my opinion.
      I can’t imagine he thought Ederson caught the man and not the ball and decided against giving the penalty!

        1. This are some of the reasons why English refrees can’t go no where.
          It’s also shame on the set of people that call them selves VAR. They are no use in the English football.

        1. Ian Wright on match of the day agreed with the penalty decisions along with Dublin and Liniker. I have to say the more i look at it the more xhakas was a stonewall pen and it showed you on MOTD, how the ederson/Odergaard pen was so unclear.

      1. Ederson got the touch on the ball that put it out for a corner. That was clear and obvious and you missed it. LOL

        1. Well it might be wishful thinking on my behalf, I will look at the replay again for my sanity. What I thought I saw was the goal keeper hit foot then push through to the ball which went out for a corner….

          1. Correct Dan, you use the correct take on it. You “thought” you saw Edison get Odergaard first and from some angles it looks that way, from others it doesn’t. Thats where the clear and obvious comes in. We may not like it but that is the rule being used “clear and obvious” it wasn’t at all.

    3. Do you want examples of games in the penalty box that involved shirt pulling where penalities were not even considered? I can send them to you. On the Arsenal penalty, it was as clear as crystal that contact was made on Odargard’s foot before the keeper touched ball. In my opinion, both penalties should be awarded.

    4. I disagree Reggie, if the decision was against Arsenal, it long had been awarded. Haven’t u noticed VAR has a way of a sideward view/display of the incident. They don’t show u everything when the decision favours Arsenal. But against us, a vertical line will be drawn, a circular view will be provided, they will show u the whole view just 2 indict Arsenal. Against UTD, VAR refused 2 check Maguire’s pull down of Tomi inside the 16 yard box, instead awarded them a penalty. Arsenal should learn 2 take their chances & stop waiting 4 decisions that will never come. Arsenal would have won if we had taken our many chances that came begging.

  2. I’ve got no problem with Arsenal not getting the penalty. It wasn’t clear and obvious. Now that I’ve seen it in super slow-mo and magnified, it looks like Emerson got Odegaard first. But do we really want that level of forensics on penalty reviews? Big no from me. By the same token, had it been given on field then it shouldn’t be overturned.

    That’s the problem I have with Man City’s penalty. The original call wasn’t a clear and obvious mistake.

    This isn’t brain surgery. My god Riley and his team are useless. No other sport and no other football leagues has this level of controversy with using VAR. The PL has made it an art form.

          1. Raggie can i take your mind back to when Maguire pulled tomiyasu at old Trafford..was that a penalty

    1. “I’ve got no problem with Arsenal not getting the penalty. It wasn’t clear and obvious. Now that I’ve seen it in super slow-mo and magnified, it looks like Emerson got Odegaard first“

      Sorry for being a bit slow, if the ref had seen what you have described, it would of been a penalty?? Are you saying the replay showed this to be accurate? Because I’ve seen a replay and that what I thought. So the Ref as made a genuine mistake….FFS 🤬 it looked more like a penalty at normal pace…😩😩😩

      1. If the reply was for me, FFS🤬 Then no the ref didn’t make a mistake, he made a judgement call in real time that still is not clear and obvious until you slow it down and blow it up in minute detail and see from different angles different things and the RULE is Clear and obvious what it wasnt FACT. the rest is opinion. You dont get penalties on opinion. FFS🤬

        1. keeping fighting the good fight Reggie, as it’s clear from the responses you’ve fielded those on the opposing side of this debate can’t seem to separate their own baked-in biases and the evidence you’ve so clearly provided…we simply can’t get back into the latter Wenger years mode of blaming the officiating and playing the “victim” card…that rarely ends well

          as for those whom have ranted and raved about what did or didn’t transpire today, penalty-wise, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, in that you can’t cry foul on Silva for what you believe to be a “dive”, then declare that Ode was legitimately fouled, even though the contact is negligible and his “dive” was far more egregious than the one you’re harping on about

          in the final analysis, we should be proud of the way we played in the first-half and learn from the obvious lessons of the second-half, that we must move on from all the Xhaka nonsense and likewise acquire a CF who provides what Laca has had on offer in recent weeks, but who’s a far more clinical finisher…of course, this isn’t an attempt to slag Laca, as he performed rather admirably today, it’s simply a logical observation about how we might get the best out of the present squad moving forward

          1. Thanks TRVL. What these fools cant see is, im not defending the decision of the Odergaard penalty, im telling them the Rules VAR work under. If they dont understand the rule, which they dont, then yes you are right, i am wasting my time. Not agreeing with the rule, is a completely different thing, its another debate and at the moment futile. The rule as it stands is what it is and regardless of what some think, it isnt an anti Arsenal rule.

            1. Wow guys you are being a bit strong on this I’m not having an argument here, I promise. All I’m asking is forget
              The VAR rules, did the goal keeper hit ode foot first??. @Reg I was talking to Voyageur In Previous post….

              If we look at the incident with slow-mo and a different camera angle did he catch him first? If so then the ref mistakenly called the wrong decision (that’s fine it happens) but I can feel hard done by 👍

              1. GD, like i said, it has to be clear and obvious for VAR to act. There is no vendetta, yes from one angle Odergaard got there first from others it looked like Edison did. To have to zoom in and slow it down to millionth of a second, is not clear and obvious, so VAR wont challenge it. Im not making any opinion just stating the VAR rule. Its there for all, if you dont like the rule, then thats a completely different debate from what has gone on. We all may feel that Odergaard got there a fraction before but it wasn’t clear and obvious. If Edison had got to the ball first and it had been given,VAR would not have changed it if it was similarly unclear because there wouldn’t have been a clear and obvious mistake. It was stated before the Euros in the summer VAR would not change very tight penalty decisions, they are trying to go with the refs, unless it was a genuine error that was clear and obvious. Please dont shoot the messenger, it isnt my opinion i am trying to explain Var.

  3. If it has to be a clear error, why are offsides scrutinised to the minutiae? They get the bloody scale rule out. Clear penalty to me and one that Salah would get all day.

  4. There is a way to solve this inconsistency by the VAR if the following 2 steps are taken..
    1. Remove the word “clear and obvious error”…. If VAR is convinced that the decision made by the onfield referee is not 100% correct then it can ask the referee to review the incident on the pitch side monitor…then the onfield referee is given the freedom to change or stick with his original decision..

    2. The performance of VAR and onfield referees should be monitored by an independent expert committee appointed by the PL and rating points should be awarded ..those referees making consistently poor decisions should face consequences including demotion to a lower league..

    1. I don’t believe that VAR were inconsistent with regards to the application of the rules in making the key refereeing decisions in this game. The phrase “clear and obvious error” was suitable for the circumstances and was applied responsibly.

    2. I agree Francis and I would add one more rule as an alternative, There would be two VAR calls by the managers one in each half, then you could get away with clear and obvious rule, then it’s down to the team to decide a review.🤔

  5. “Clear and obvious”, for Man City but the referee did not spot it and the VAR did. The VAR didn’t bother to call over the ref to “clear” any doubts he might have had for the Gunners incident. This is baffling. Why is the VAR not being consistently applied to the “unclear” incidences for either side?

  6. This “clear and obvious” point in underpinned by a bigger issue when discussing VAR. To me it all comes down to interpretation of the official behind the screen. The technology is not the problem. Everything always comes back to people. We can live with refs making mistakes. That’s part of the game. But with intro of VAR we assume that those mistakes will be picked up on and corrected. But all we’ve done is added another level of human error into the game. Don’t get me wrong, VAR has been helpful in many situations but as long as humans are involved in the decision, there will be mistakes due to interpretation of what they see on a screen.
    The other thing I don’t like with VAR is if they do step in on “clear and obvious” errors, the pressure on the ref to agree is too much. Just might as well let VAR overturn decision without ref’s agreement. How many calls have ref rejected? So what’s the point then..

  7. Just watching the MotD on BBC. Just noticing that for Xhaka’s penalty, the VAR only showed one angle of the incident which ref makes a decision on. But as we’ve pointed out, looking at any incident from a different angle can lead to different outcomes. So why didn’t VAR show all angles to allow ref to make an informed decision?

    1. Do you want examples of games in the penalty box that involved shirt pulling where penalities were not even considered? I can send them to you. On the Arsenal penalty, it was as clear as crystal that contact was made on Odargard’s foot before the keeper touched ball. In my opinion, both penalties should be awarded.

  8. It looked like a blatant pen in real time … and more so than xhaka!s clumsy tackle .. which is clear on closer inspection … so what was weird is that the hopeless ref didn’t give it … if he had var couldn’t have overturned it

  9. This site is full with many different opinions on how VAR should be used . Not a single other Gooner on this site seems to have properly thought through what is the real problem. I have done though.

    The problem is that VAR exists at all. It is an abomination and all it does is add a further referee above the match ref who simply undermines the authority which all match refs OUGHT to be supported in by the football authorities.

    But in actuality, those same authorities have calamitously chosen to mark the on field refs homework before millions of viewers world wide and undermine his authority. And often get things wrong, which simply makes things worse, not better.
    From the start of VAR , I have consistently argued , almost entirely alone, that UNTIL and UNLESS VAR can be sent privately to the ref, as is goal line technology (which works superbly well and without delays or disputes)with no big screen or Stockley Park nonsense, that VAR should not be used, UNTIL it can be done instantly.

    If it never can be done instantly then do not use it, PLAIN, SIMPLE AND FOR THE GAMES BETTER ENJOYMENT, which lest we forget, is WHY spectators watch football. FOR ENJOYMENT.
    VAR is a pain in the arse!

  10. I think Arsenal was denied a clear penalty and VAR has brought injustice to some epl teams like Arsenal.

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