Later News Jul 08

EPL Round-up: Pulisic shines bright for Chelsea, Jamie VAR-dy denies resurgent Arsenal


He was mercilessly derided as a dud when he was first introduced to the English Premier League (EPL) this season.

 

In this morning’s (SGT) match, however, he turned hero for the team in blue, as he helped them remain in the driving seat to finish in the EPL top-four.

 

We are, of course, talking about VAR. We’ll get to Christian Pulisic’s heroics later.

 

Because it was VAR which helped Leicester City earn themselves a 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

 

First, it recommended that young Gunners striker Eddie Nketiah be sent off in the 75th minute for a reckless challenge.

 

It then allowed Jamie Vardy’s 85th minute goal, which, at first glance, appeared to be offside. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that VAR was ruling out goals because one’s armpit was offside.

 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta, however, was more upset with Nketiah’s sending off, as well as the fact that VAR and the match officials had failed to punish Vardy for this boot to Shkodran Mustafi’s face in the first half.

 

WATCH: Arteta questions Nketiah’s red card

 

Said Arteta: “I was agitated for a previous incident that was a red card [in the first half]. The referee has made a decision and we have to learn from that, as well it is our fault because it is the fourth time since I have been here that we have played with 10 men and we have to reflect on that.

 

“Looking at the challenge on the camera arguably it (Nketiah’s challenge) can be a red card or not. He will learn from that because he is such a young kid.”

 

The result leaves Arsenal seventh in the table, nine points behind fourth-placed Leicester, who were overtaken by Chelsea following the Blues’ 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.

 

The match was notable not only for its five-goal glut and end-to-end action, but also for Christian Pulisic’s thunderous goal – his third in five games – in the 27th minute.

 

While Olivier Giroud and Tammy Abraham were both also on the scoresheet for Chelsea, manager Frank Lampard opted to focus on Pulisic’s contribution to the victory in his post-match comments.

 

WATCH: Player Profile – Christian Pulisic

 

“He's (Pulisic) hugely important because he's got great talent, we know that,” said Lampard. “Earlier on in the season, at the start, he came here [under] difficult conditions…[he] hadn't really had a break early in the season, but he started to play really well for us, and now he's moved his game on another level, not just in how he's going by people, but real end product.

 

“Look around at the top attacking players in the world and they score goals regularly to win games, and at the moment, he's doing that, so I'm delighted with him.”

 

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