‘That’s never a penalty!’: Cesc Fabregas leads fan fury as he blasts ‘TERRIBLE decision’ to award Man City a spot-kick in win against Arsenal after Granit Xhaka clumsily brought down Bernardo Silva
- Manchester City picked up a late 2-1 win away at Arsenal on New Year’s Day
- Referee Stuart Attwell made two controversial penalty decisions in the game
- He first chose not to give Arsenal a spot-kick when Martin Odegaard went down
- But Attwell awarded City a penalty when Granit Xhaka felled Bernardo Silva
- Cesc Fabregas and many others felt City should not have received the penalty
Cesc Fabregas led the fury of fans on social media by hitting out at the ‘terrible decision’ to award Manchester City a penalty in their 2-1 win away at Arsenal on New Year’s Day.
Runaway leaders City extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to 11 points in north London, coming from behind to snatch victory in the dying minutes of stoppage time.
It proved a controversial affair at the Emirates, with Arsenal supporters booing referee Stuart Attwell off the field over two contentious penalty decisions.
Cesc Fabregas slammed the ‘terrible decision’ to award Man City a penalty against Arsenal
Referee Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot when Granit Xhaka brought down Bernardo Silva
The first saw the Gunners denied what they felt was a clear spot-kick when Martin Odegaard went down in the box from an Ederson challenge, and the second also went against them when Granit Xhaka pulled Bernardo Silva down inside the area and City. Attwell initially decided not to award the spot-kick, until he was consulted by VAR.
Several fans took to social media to question the latter decision, including former Arsenal midfielder Fabregas.
‘That’s never a pen,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘Terrible decision.’
When one user replied to insist the correct call was made, Fabregas replied: ‘He (Silva) was already falling’.
Fabregas thought Silva was already on his way down in the box when Xhaka pulled his shirt
One Arsenal fan questioned the consistency of Attwell’s decisions in their late defeat
A number of supporters concurred with the Spaniard online, questioning the consistency in Attwell’s two key decisions on the day.
One put: ‘Pathetic decision. Xhaka touches his shirt because Silva is already diving. Absolute rubbish.’
Another said: ‘No consistency in the officiating. If this is a pen, what about that first half?’
The United Stand’s Mark Goldbridge also weighed in on the debate and wrote: ‘Never a pen though. Ref is a prat’.
Riyad Mahrez scored the resulting spot-kick to level proceedings for City in north London
Rodri then slotted in a last-gasp winner for the visitors in the dying minutes of stoppage time
Attwell was jeered off the pitch by Gunners fans after his pair of controversial decisions
Gabriel also saw red for Arsenal on the hour mark, paying the price for two yellow cards in quick succession.
Bukayo Saka had given the Gunners liftoff after 31 minutes, only for Riyad Mahrez’s penalty to draw City level in the 57th.
And in the third minute of stoppage time, Rodri struck to tighten the visitors’ grip on top spot and leave Arsenal fans seething.