The marathon wait for a VAR check at Arsenal could have been tolerable if we could have listened in

During the four minutes and 39 seconds that passed between the ball hitting the back of the net for Arsenal’s disallowed second “goal” against Manchester United on Saturday, the subsequent VAR check and Bukayo Saka wheeling away in celebration after scoring the consolation spot-kick awarded in its place, there was plenty of confusion. On the pitch, in the stands, in households around the country and even in the BT Sport commentary box – nobody except the referee, Craig Pawson, and his assistants seemed quite sure what exactly was going on.

The big screen informed fans a possible offside was being checked and Eddie Nketiah was duly and correctly adjudged to have been guilty: no goal. Afterwards, another check was made on a potential foul on Saka by Alex Telles in the build-up to the disallowed effort. Pawson adjourned to his pitch-side monitor and perhaps under pressure from a crowd whipped into a frenzy by a furiously gesticulating Mikel Arteta, awarded Arsenal a penalty which was duly dispatched by Saka.

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