Former Arsenal player Perry Groves says he wouldn’t have awarded Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s winning goal against Norwich, and the victory has only ‘temporarily’ eased the pressure on Mikel Arteta.
Arsenal removed themselves from the bottom of the Premier League table with a nail-biting 1-0 victory, with the Gunners scoring their first goal and earning their first points of the season.
The goal was scrappy and had more than an element of fortune to it, as the ball fell to the Gunners forward after a goalmouth scramble.
Aubameyang appeared to be stood in an offside position as he poked the ball home on 66 minutes.
VAR confirmed the goal stood, after a lengthy and nervy delay for the home Emirates Stadium fans, despite the protests from the Norwich players and manager Daniel Farke.
And Groves sympathises with the Canaries, suggesting Aubameyang’s goal wouldn’t have stood under the old rules.
Groves said on commentary for talkSPORT 2: “I actually think, in real football terms, Aubameyang was offside – because he’s a yard offside on the second one that comes back off the post.
“Pepe does great with his shot and Krul gets a great save onto the post, it comes back out and at that particular time Aubameyang is a yard offside.
“Then there’s a scramble off the other post where you can’t tell if it’s Brandon Williams or Pepe who got the touch to put it onto the post for the second time, and by the time it comes to Aubameyang through all those bodies, he’s onside in that phase.
“So you can understand why the Norwich players were upset and you can understand why Daniel Farke is upset, it just seems in the new rules and we talk about the first phase, second phase and third phase, Mike Dean has probably got that right.”
The result lifts some pressure off Gunners boss Mikel Arteta but only for a temporary period, insists Groves.
At the final whistle, Groves said: “Massive relief. It wasn’t an emphatic performance, it was bitty and scrappy at times.
“This was a game that Arsenal just needed to win to give themselves a building block. They probably just shaded it on chances created in the second-half.
“Mikel Arteta will be pleased his captain and goalscorer has scored. It just takes the pressure off, just temporarily.”
Download talkSPORT Edge NOW!
It’s the free football app that keeps you one step ahead of your mates with short, sharp and shareable content.