Veteran premier league referee explains why Smith Rowe’s opener vs Man Utd stood

Arsenal fell to a 3-2 defeat away at Old Trafford last night as they missed out on a very good opportunity to enter into the premier league top four.

Arsenal opened the scoring in a somewhat controversial circumstance as Emile Smith Rowe struck the ball into an empty net with Man Utd goalkeeper De Gea left on the floor following a tackle from his own teammate.

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Man Utd responded as Bruno Fernandes restored parity close to halftime. The Red Devils eventually took the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo just less than 10 minutes after the restart before Martin Ødegaard leveled with an instant response but Man Utd ultimately took all three points as Ødegaard gave away a penalty which Ronaldo coolly dispatched to make it 3-2 on the night.

It was the first goal of the game which generated a lot of debate though as Smith Rowe’s opener came after De Gea had gone to ground following a set-piece.

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The goal was nevertheless given as De Gea had been fouled and injured by his own teammate Fred in the build up, a decision which former premier league referee Mark Clattenburg agreed with while speaking on the incident on Amazon Prime TV.

Mark Clattenburg: Martin Atkinson has to give the goal here because what you see is Fred accidentally stamps on De Gea’s foot so therefore it isn’t a foul by an Arsenal player.

He doesn’t blow the whistle so therefore he has to give the goal”

Amazon via

It was Emile Smith Rowe’s fifth premier league goal for Arsenal this season, more than any other Gunners’ player and the Englishman would be looking to keep his fine form and remain a key player for Arsenal this season as they look to put the disappointing loss behind them.



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