Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta silent over Bukayo Saka’s penalty claim as Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel left fuming | Football News

Mikel Arteta refused to discuss whether Bukayo Saka should have won a penalty against Bayern Munich but Thomas Tuchel was left “really angry” by another spot-kick call.

Saka went to ground after going over Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer’s leg in practically the final action of the game as the Gunners were denied a last-gasp penalty which could have seen them take a slender lead to Munich next week.

The England winger was so incensed he had to be pulled away from referee Glenn Nyberg after full-time as he angrily sought an explanation why both he and the VAR official had declined to award a spot kick.

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Steve Sidwell reacts as Arsenal are denied a penalty late in their Champions League quarter-final against Bayern

But speaking after the game, Arteta refused to comment on the decision and said he had not spoken with Nyberg himself over the incident.

“I haven’t seen it,” he said. “The decision is made, we cannot change that. We have to focus on other aspects we can control and that we could’ve done much better tonight.

“I was already looking at the other goal [when Saka first reacted], because he was down in the box and we had 10 men, the game had not finished – I was more worried about that than his reaction!”

Steve Sidwell, watching the game on Soccer Special, was more decisive in his reaction to the call and said Saka had been the one to initiate contact with the Bayern Munich goalkeeper.

“There’s definitely connection there, I think Saka puts his foot into Neuer,” the former Arsenal academy product said.

Arsenal's Bukayo Saka goes down under the challenge from Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final, first leg match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Tuesday April 9, 2024.

“That’s what he does, he’s clever. The referee has absolutely nailed this, it’s a great call. If there would’ve been a penalty, it would’ve been the wrong decision.”

Tuchel fuming over Gabriel handball: It was a kid’s mistake!

Thomas Tuchel was left incensed by a separate penalty issue which went unspotted by most within the Emirates Stadium during the game.

In the 67th minute, with Bayern leading 2-1, David Raya played the ball across his six-yard box at a goal kick before Gabriel Magalhaes, who had not realised the ball was in play, picked it up and re-spotted it before then taking a goal kick himself.

Nyberg allowed play to continue and, according to Tuchel, told Bayern’s players he was not prepared to give the decision in a game of such magnitude – something which only infuriated the visiting manager further.

“I think there was a huge mistake in not giving the handball penalty,” he said. “It’s a crazy situation, but they put the ball down, he whistles, [Raya] gives the ball free and the defender takes it in his hand.

“What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a kid’s mistake, and he will not give a penalty like this in a Champions League quarter-final.

“It is a horrible, horrible explanation. It means he is judging handballs. Whether it’s a kid’s mistake or an adult’s mistake, we feel angry because it’s a huge decision against us.

“But it’s 2-2, totally even, we have the second leg to play and we hope we can create the same atmosphere, play with the same intensity and passion like today to create the same atmosphere in our stadium and push things in our direction.”

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