VAR on the side of ‘good’ in matters of millimetres

In a week where Arsenal were painted as bad and Everton representing good, two crucial VAR judgements erred on the side of good and left the home side despondent.

Just what you don’t need before a major semi-final.

Arsenal dominated the second half, but two mistakes undid them.

It was the seventh home defeat of the season; the first Everton win at Arsenal for 25 years, and the season double in 35 years in the 200th meeting of the clubs.

The red smoke and noise from the protests against Kroenke seemed to seep through on to the pitch. And the self-destructive moment was in keeping with the week.

Everton had the forward advantage at the beginning of the match with Calvert Lewin v Nketiah. There were six changes from the Fulham game. Apart from the England u-21 captain, the same team as the Slavia Prague match. Everton had no wins in last five but had five back from injury and had real menace in their team – on paper.

It was a tight quick passing game, sanitised by systems against a backdrop of Visit Rwanda and Fly Emirates following a week of international announcements of massive carbon cuts.

Digne crossed and Calvert Lewin but was marshalled well by Mari.

Arsenal were lively but not creating chances. They tried to set Pepe away against Coleman on diagonals. A cross by Chambers was latched on to by Saka – but saved by Pickford. Chambers headed into Nketiah who swivelled but his shot was blocked.

Saka had an opening, but his shot was blocked too. Allan set Richarlison away to shoot – but it was parried by Leno. Allan was proving dangerous with through balls, and Partey was forced to foul Richarlison on the run. And then he upended James conceding another dangerous free kick.

Xhaka crossed – it came to Ceballos who was flicked by Richarlison and went down for a penalty. But Pepe was offside by a millimetre.

Pepe was hacked by Holgate and Chambers had a chance with a volley on the six-yard line, but it was wide.

Odergaard and Martinelli came on for Pepe and Nketiah.

You got a feeling Everton may score from a breakaway. And so it came to pass.

Richarlison rolled Xhaka who was square and drove to the six-yard line and passed through the legs of Leno, but it hit his right foot and into the net. Richarlison was onside by a millimetre.

Martinelli got an improbable foot to a ball in the six-yard box but Pickford saved low down.

Ancelotti said the game should have been a draw.

A clearly frustrated Arteta said: “We were the better team but there are certain decisions that we can’t control.

“To disallow a penalty 15 seconds before – [we had] eight or nine touches [after Nicolas Pepe was offside] – I saw it 10 times and I don’t get it. It can be taken the way they want. Zero control. Somebody has to explain that.

“We were the better team. We lacked some clear-cut chances and the edge in the final third. They are very well organised, but we conceded the goal in the wrong moment and when we had the penalty, but it wasn’t given.”

“We did not have enough quality in the final third.

“It is damaging for our confidence losing at home.”

“It’s an own goal and we know we have to do better.”

On home form, he said: “It’s terrible, unacceptable.”

Arsenal: 1Leno, 21Chambers (Substituted for Willian at 83’minutes), 16Holding, 22Marí, 34Xhaka, 18Partey (Booked at 38mins), 8Ceballos, 7Saka, 32Smith Rowe, 19Pépé (Substituted for Ødegaard at 74’minutes), 30Nketiah (Substituted for Martinelli at 74’minutes)

Everton: 1Pickford, 23Coleman, 22Godfrey, 4Holgate (Booked at 62mins), 12Digne, 19Rodríguez (Substituted for Davies at 86’minutes),6Allan (Booked at 55mins),21André Gomes (Substituted for Delph at 66’minutes, Booked at 68mins),7Richarlison (Substituted for Mina at 89’minutes), 9Calvert-Lewin, 10G Sigurdsson