Arsenal suffered a defeat at Villa Park as VAR controversy struck yet again, putting an end to the Gunners' four-game win streak on Saturday.
John McGinn scored the only goal of the game as Aston Villa extended their Premier League winning run on home soil to 15 games. Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz both found the back of the net on separate occasions, only to have their goals disallowed for offside and handball respectively, sparking further debate over VAR decisions.
Martin Odegaard explains why Arsenal lost to Aston Villa
Speaking on whether the defeat resembled the one against Newcastle, Ødegaard said: “We have to focus on ourselves. We can't think too much about the other stuff.
“We have to look at ourselves, look at what we could have done better and I think especially in front of the goal, we should have done a bit better and in some periods of the game we should have controlled it a bit more. As I said we did enough to get a result but we have to be more ruthless in front of goal.” he added.
The Arsenal captain addressed an important issue plaguing Arsenal lately – their inability to capitalise on scoring opportunities. In the game against Villa, the Gunners demonstrated their attacking prowess by registering a total of 12 shots. However, only five of these shots found the target as they generated an xG of 1.4. The frustration was further exacerbated by the fact that two goals were disallowed.
Addressing this issue of ineffectiveness in front of goal is essential for Arsenal if they want to compete for trophies. The previous game against Luton Town saw the Gunners narrowly steal three points after they registered a whopping amount of 23 shots with only nine on target and four being converted.
In any game, it is crucial to be able to convert opportunities into goals. It’s often games like these which get looked back upon with regret, especially if a team loses out on a title.
When asked about his thoughts on the decision taken by VAR on Havertz’s goal, Ødegaard said: “I haven't seen it again. I heard it was a close call.
“I haven't seen it so I don't want to say too much but of course, it is annoying and frustrating to see that at the end,” he concluded.
Controversial VAR decisions have become a recurring theme for the Gunners recently. However, what decisions are made cannot be undone after the game is over. It seems as though the best anyone will get after properly proving an error in decision is an apology letter from the PGMOL.