Explained: Why Arsenal were denied TWO penalties for handball as VAR controversially denies unlucky Gunners against Bournemouth

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Mikel Arteta Arsenal Chris Mepham penalty incident Bournemouth 2022-23
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Arsenal feel they should have been awarded at least two penalties for handball in their Premier League match against Bournemouth on Saturday.
  • Arsenal asked for 33rd-minute penalty
  • Ball struck Mepham's hand, but nothing awarded
  • Another shout in 80th minute

WHAT HAPPENED? In the first incident, Chris Mepham jumped up to head clear the danger in the Bournemouth box but missed the ball and it struck his arm, leading to the Gunners calling for a penalty in a controversial first-half incident. In the second incident, a goal-bound header struck Philip Billing in the hand, but Arsenal's claims were again waved away.

But Arsenal went on to win 3-2 with a stoppage time goal from Reiss Nelson, making the calls irrelevant.

WHY WASN'T IT GIVEN? The incidents were both reviewed by VAR and referee Chris Kavanagh had a look at the footage. The first penalty was not given because the handball was deemed accidental with Mepham's arm not in an unnatural enough position to be a foul. The second would have been really unlucky for Billing, who had no time to get out of the way. Still, Arsenal were not happy.

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THE BIGGER PICTURE: The home team were aggrieved, especially as they were trailing against the Cherries for the first incident, and level 2-2 for the second. Bournemouth had taken the lead just nine seconds into the Premier League encounter and put up a surprising fight at the Emirates. But the Gunners showed their credentials by storming back to win.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR ARSENAL? Mikel Arteta's team will look to keep up the momentum on Thursday against Sporting CP.