Arsenal had two guilt-edged chances to go out of sight from the eyes of Nuno’s Wolf pack within the first two minutes of the game on Tuesday night.
Arsenal’s summer recruit from Spain, Thomas Partey was dominating the midfield being a playmaker general and was not giving Joao Moutinho and Ruben Neves a sniff in the first couple of exchanges within the match.
The Ghanaian international lifted a well timed ball into the path of Bukayo Saka who hit the woodwork within 43 seconds of the referees first whistle and a minute later the 19 Year Old’s excellent effort was ruled out by VAR after Alexandre Lacazette was found to be a ‘toenail’ offside.
The immaculate interplay from Arsenal did not stop there as Nicolas Pepe sat down Nelson Semedo in the build up to The Gunner’s breaking the deadlock as he nutmegged not one but two Wolves defenders and curled the ball into the top corner past Rui Patricio. It really was a FIFA-esque goal, the skill was impeccable and the finish was exquisite.
Craig Pawson glanced at his watch and continued to let the game flow well into the 47th minute despite the fourth official indicating two added minutes. The ball was slid through to Wolves new January signing, Willian Jose who fell as if someone had sniped him from the stands at Molineux, his dramatisation and manipulation of the incident left the referee no option but to send David Luiz off despite the only contact being from the Wolves striker dragging his leg out to make sure David Luiz could not move out of the way.
Unlike the Manchester United game where Mike Dean went to look at the pitch-side monitor before awarding a penalty and a red card for Jan Bednerek’s foul on Anthony Martial, Craig Pawson did not. There is an issue of competency and an issue of consistency amongst the referees in the Premier League. Arsenal were robbed, David Luiz should not have been sent off, it is that plain and simple.
Arsenal fans have created a petition to make a clear out of Premier League referees at the end of this season after a shocking performance on the pitch by Craig Pawson and off the pitch by Jon Moss getting his wages after sitting in his warm VAR studio at Stockley Park after giving Arsenal fans a heart-attack and a night to forget.
The technology is not the issue as it is not a robotised process, it is completely human controlled despite the technology being there. Unlike goal line technology which is black and white there are so many grey areas when it comes to the use of VAR.
The team in the VAR studio making the decisions. It is either that Craig Pawson to make a decision live which begs the question why he is employed by the FA or it is the fault of Jon Moss for giving ill advice to the on pitch referee, either way it is huge incompetency from the referees and something has to be done.
The game turned on it’s head from this point on. It went from the press box talking about Arsenal breaking a record of winning more back to back away games than ever in the club’s history to Joao Moutinho scoring his first goal in three years at Molineux and Wolves breaking their eight-game winless streak in the Premier League.
Bernd Leno was given a straight red card and Arsenal went down to nine men as the Arsenal number one was forced to intercept play after a ball from the Wolves right back towards the feet of the monster, Adama Traore. The German got his footing all wrong, had a lapse of concentration and if Arsenal weren’t ruled out of a comeback, they were by the 72nd minute.
When it rains, it pours at Arsenal. Just like the night Aston Villa destroyed Arsenal on their own turf, Tuesday night was synonymous to that.
Craig Pawson should really hand in his resignation slip to the FA on Wednesday morning if he had an sense of self-reflection then that’s what he would do.