Gary Neville disagrees with Mikel Arteta as Arsenal boss blasts ‘scandalous’ errors in Newcastle draw

Gary Neville disagreed with Mikel Arteta’s claim that Arsenal were on the receiving end of two ‘scandalous’ VAR errors in their goalless draw with Newcastle United.

The Gunners failed to extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to 10 points on Tuesday night as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Newcastle.

Chances were few and far between at the Emirates Stadium but Arteta felt Arsenal should have been awarded two penalties as they pushed for a winner.

On the hour mark, Newcastle defender Dan Burn appeared to haul back Gabriel from a free-kick, before Arsenal were appealing for a spot-kick in the dying minutes for a handball.

Asked about the penalty appeals, Arteta said: ‘They are two penalties, it’s very simple. I’m talking about what I’ve seen, now, and it’s two scandalous penalties.’

Neville disagreed with Arteta’s strong statement and said it would in fact have been ‘scandalous’ had the late handball resulted in a penalty.

The former Manchester United and England defender had more sympathy for the first appeal, however, and said Newcastle were ‘very lucky’ not to be penalised.

‘I thought it would be scandalous if it was given,’ Neville said on Sky Sports. ‘If Mikel Arteta had lost a game of football giving away a penalty like this, he would be absolutely fuming.

‘That is not a penalty. Never in a million years is that a penalty. Arteta would not want that given against his team, he would be fuming.

‘He’s got a point on the first one. Newcastle are very lucky there. The handball is never a penalty. They can feel aggrieved over the first one.’

While Arteta hit out at the officials and VAR after a frustrating evening, he insisted he was ‘extremely proud’ with his Arsenal side, who failed to win a league game for only the third time this season.

He added: ‘I’m extremely proud of my players. The way we played, dominated the game, tried and continued to control the game. We needed that spark in the final third. We had so many situations.

‘I think we lacked an extra touch or movement to finish these chances in this game.

‘Newcastle wanted to set-up like this. It is not the way they play. They have not set-up like this against anyone else.

‘When you cannot win you cannot lose and we kept a clean sheet and had a really good performance. Now we go again.

‘I wanted to win the game are we drew it. We should have done some things better in the final third and we should have had two penalties to win the game.’

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe also addressed Arsenal’s penalty appeals, telling Sky Sports: ‘Obviously at that stage of the game you’re thinking please no, the lads have given so much. That would have been a travesty for us.

‘I didn’t think it was a penalty just because of the proximity, but you just never know. Me and Mikel, it was fine.’

While Arsenal now boast an eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League, Manchester City will cut the deficit to five if they beat Chelsea on Thursday.

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