Explained: Why VAR overturned decision to disallow Gabriel Martinelli strike against Everton

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Xhaka Martinelli celebrate goal Arsenal vs Everton
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Arsenal's Gabriel Martinelli initially saw his goal against Everton ruled out on Wednesday, before VAR intervened and the goal was eventually given.
  • Saka had given Arsenal lead
  • Martinelli made it 2-0
  • Goal given after VAR intervention

WHAT HAPPENED? Fresh from giving his side a one-goal advantage, Bukayo Saka stole the ball off a lackadaisical Idrissa Gueye deep inside the Everton half, which Martinelli duly pounced upon before slotting coolly past Jordan Pickford one-on-one. Referee Michael Oliver blew after the assistant had given the offside in real time, but a lengthy VAR ruled that the goal should stand, making it 2-0 just before the break.

WHY WAS IT GIVEN? While Saka did make the final contact - as the Englishman was credited with the assist on the night - a VAR review revealed Martinelli to be just behind Gueye when the ball was played, thus in a legal position to score.


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Martinelli goal disallowed Arsenal vs Everton

Martinelli goal Arsenal vs Everton VAR check

THE BIGGER PICTURE: With Wednesday's match being Arsenal's game in hand over title challengers Manchester City, Mikel Arteta's side took a near-unassailable lead to pull five points clear at the Premier League summit. Martinelli's fine finish makes it three goals in three games for the Brazilian, offering the perfect response to his own harsh criticisms for his form this calendar year.

WHAT'S NEXT FOR ARSENAL: Arteta's side host Bournemouth next in the league on Saturday.