Arsenal awarded controversial penalty against Aston Villa as half-time whistle appears to blow before Aubameyang goal

ARSENAL were awarded a controversial penalty in their 3-1 win over Aston Villa on Friday night.

With the Gunners already 1-0 up thanks to a Thomas Partey finish, Alexandre Lacazette went down under a challenge from Matt Targett.

Alexandre Lacazette won the penalty after a challenge from Matt Targett

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Alexandre Lacazette won the penalty after a challenge from Matt TargettCredit: Getty
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tucked away the rebound after originally missing the spot kick

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang tucked away the rebound after originally missing the spot kickCredit: PA

Play went on and referee Craig Pawson blew for half-time before then going over to the monitor to look at the penalty incident.

He gave the spot kick as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang prepared to take against the penalty specialist Emi Martinez.

And the Argentine shot-stopper lived up to his billing, flying to his right to stop the shot.

But it bounced kindly for the Arsenal striker and Aubameyang thankfully finished off the rebound.

Villa boss Dean Smith was seething over the whole penalty incident.

He told Sky Sports afterwards: “It is a lower contact tackle. Grey areas, does he touch the ball first or his leg first?


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“I thought they were the ones we were not going to VAR for. I am even wondering why he is allowed to put the rebound in.

“My understanding was he is walking off the pitch if he does not go to VAR, they cant give me any clarity on that.”

Arsenal dominated the first half in a 45-minute period that the visitors failed to get a hold of.

Partey scored his first Arsenal goal midway through the half, flicking home Emile Smith Rowe’s near-post corner.

And then the penalty incident doubled Arsenal’s lead on the stroke of half-time, but it really should have been more.

Partey could have had his first Arsenal goal minutes earlier when he volleyed a Bukayo Saka cross off the bar.

And then Saka should have had a goal himself when Nuno Tavares found him unmarked inside the box, only for the England international to be denied by the legs of Martinez.

Arsenal have not lost a game since they were beaten 5-0 by Manchester City at the end of August.

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