‘Let down again’ – Bournemouth broke basic rule to score against Arsenal and goal should NOT have stood, says ex-referee

BOURNEMOUTH broke a basic rule when they netted their nine-second goal against Arsenal.

And one former referee insists the strike should NOT have stood in Saturday’s thrilling league fixture.

Bournemouth’s opener against Arsenal should not have stood, says an ex-refereeRichard Pelham / The SunNot known, clear with picture deskSeveral Bournemouth players were already in Arsenal’s half at kick-off[/caption]

Phillip Billing fired the Cherries ahead at the Emirates straight from kick-off – the second-quickest goal in Premier League history.

The early effort stunned league leaders Arsenal.

And things got worse for them on the hour mark when Bournemouth went 2-0 up.

But the Gunners bravely battled back for 2-2 before Reiss Nelson’s 97th minute winner dramatically secured all three points.

However, things could have panned out differently had Bournemouth not taken the lead.

That’s because several Cherries players were already in Arsenal’s half when they kicked off the game.

And former referee Graham Poll believes Billing’s strike should have been disallowed as a result.

He is adamant VAR should have intervened immediately.


Arsenal are no stranger to controversial calls from the video assistant, with Mikel Arteta lashing out after dropping at points at Brentford last month.

And Poll reckons Bournemouth got away with their early lead because chief official Howard Webb wants to intervene less during games.

He told BettingSites: “VAR once again appeared to let Arsenal down on Saturday as both the ref, Chris Kavanagh, and his colleagues at Stockley Park failed to punish the fact that a number of Bournemouth players were in the opposing half before the kick-off at the start of the match.

“Kavanagh should have seen the encroachment and ordered the kick-off to be retaken long before Bournemouth got into the Arsenal penalty area.

“This happens in a vast number of games but a goal does not follow within 10 seconds and so the offence goes unnoticed and unpunished.

“Had the player who encroached the most, Antoine Semenyo, been the player who scored, there could well have been an intervention by VAR.

“But with Howard Webb now in charge we will only see less technical offences that are missed being corrected.”