Dermot Gallagher issues ‘better’ verdict on controversial penalty decision during Arsenal vs Leeds United

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Former referee Dermot Gallagher has issued his verdict on the controversial penalty decision during Leeds United’s heavy defeat to Arsenal.

Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has weighed in on the penalty decision during Leeds United’s defeat to Arsenal.

The Whites slipped to a 4-1 away defeat to the Premier League leaders at the Emirates Stadium, slipping back towards the relegation zone. Leeds are now just goal difference above the bottom three, with Crystal Palace, Wolves, West Ham, Nottingham Forest and Bournemouth all picking up points.

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Leeds did leave North London feeling a little hard done by, though, with the Gunners getting a favourable penalty decision to bust open the game. Javi Gracia’s men were giving as good as they got until their resolve was broken in the 35th minute. Luke Ayling slid in to make a challenge on Gabriel Jesus, and he did make contact, but the contact did not appear strong enough to bring down the Arsenal striker.

Still, former Premier League referee Gallagher feels the right decision was made by Darren England, as he was backed up by the VAR team. He told Sky Sports News: “He brings his boot up, and you can see he thinks straight away ‘what have I done?’. Decisions like that sit better given on the field."

Fans were left outraged by the decision, but it follows a similar trend since the introduction of VAR in the Premier League. If the video footage shows any kind of contact, penalty decisions typically aren’t overturned, even if the contact is minimal. It is perhaps for that reason Ayling knew he was in trouble when he made contact and Jesus went down.

Either way, Leeds failed to work their way back into the game after going behind, and they did go on to concede three more goals, something they must ultimately take responsibility for.

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