Former Premier League Ref Explains Why West Ham Penalty vs Arsenal Was Correct Call

Former Premier League Ref Explains Why West Ham Penalty vs Arsenal Was Correct Call

Rene Otinga
updated at April 17, 2023 at 9:30 AM
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  • West Ham United came from two goals down to claim an entertaining draw against Arsenal
  • The Hammers’ first goal came from the penalty spot, albeit in controversial circumstances
  • Despite protests and controversy, a former EPL referee has explained why the penalty stood

West Ham United was rightfully given a penalty against Arsenal on April 16, according to a former Premier League referee.

Mark Halsey, who officiated in the English top flight from 1999-2013, weighed in on the Arsenal game as he explained why West Ham’s penalty correctly stood.

After taking an early lead through Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus, the Gunners looked on course for another routine victory.

Halsey, Premier League, Arsenal
Referee Mark Halsey gestures during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton at Old Trafford on February 10, 2013 in Manchester, England.Photo by Shaun Botterill
Source: Getty Images

But the game took on a different complexion in the 36th minute after Thomas Partey was caught in possession by Declan Rice, who squared the ball to Lucas Paqueta.

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The Brazilian was then taken down by Gunners defender, Gabriel Magalhaes.

To be fair to Paqueta's compatriot, he did his best to avoid contact in the box but VAR confirmed indeed it was a penalty.

However, sections of Arsenal fans disputed the penalty, saying there was minimal contact from Gabriel, while some cried for a handball by Rice as he dispossessed Partey.

Halsey had a different take, as he told Sunsport:

"Lucas Paqueta went past Gabriel and it’s clear the Arsenal defender caught him so it was an obvious penalty. It was a careless challenge and Arsenal cannot have any complaints."

According to the former Premier League referee, even if Rice did handle the ball in the build-up, it should not count since it was accidental.

Is Arsenal falling to pressure?

The Gunners are unbeaten in their last nine Premier League outings but another 2-2 draw brings to light the task that is ahead of Mikel Arteta.

Successive draws now mean the Gunners are only four points ahead of Man City, who could close the gap to one point with one game in hand.

In an interview after the game, Arteta faulted his players for 'lacking purpose' to see out the game fully despite making an excellent start to things.

 Haaland appears to troll Arsenal

In news related to the game, Sports Brief reported on Erling Haaland’s reaction to Arsenal's draw against West Ham on social media.

The Norwegian posted a photo of himself on Twitter moments after the cracker with the caption 'Mood' in what is seen as a jibedig at his team’s title rivals.

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Rene Otinga
Rene Otinga is a sports journalist with over eight years of working experience in digital media. Rene's experience includes working as a Copywriter at X News Kenya and
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