Ex-Premier League and FIFA referee gives verdict on trio of controversial VAR decisions in Leeds United's defeat to Arsenal
Bukayo Saka’s thumping first-half finish was enough to clinch the Gunners their ninth win in 10 league games, while Leeds missed a penalty and had another spot-kick decision overturned in stoppage time.
Bamford, a half-time replacement for Rodrigo, was central to Leeds’ inspired second-half display.
He had the ball in the net moments after the restart but it was ruled out by VAR for his push on Gabriel, and he dragged a penalty wide after Kavanagh had consulted the pitch-side monitor to judge on William Saliba’s handball.
Kavanagh awarded Leeds another spot-kick in time added on after Gabriel had kicked out at Bamford and the Arsenal defender was shown a straight red card.
But after checking the monitor again, Kavanagh overturned both decisions, with Bamford shown to have shoved Gabriel first, and the Brazilian’s red card was changed to yellow.
“I thought it was a foul, when you look at it, it’s hard to say it is not a foul,” said Gallagher on Sky Sports News of Bamford’s disallowed goal.
Saliba’s handball was spotted by VAR although some were questioning why the penalty was awarded after Rasmus Kristensen was offside in the build-up.
"I think it is handball, not given on the field but given by VAR. He moves towards the ball, so it is a penalty for me,” added Gallagher.
"He [Kristensen] is offside, there is no doubt about that. But it went on too long, the ball goes back and gets recycled, it takes too long so they don’t go back that far.
"There has to be a point where you have to reset.”
Gallagher felt it was the right decision to overturn the red card to Gabriel, claiming the defender’s kick at Bamford was “reckless” but not violent conduct.
He said: "I think it is a really interesting incident. The referee doesn’t give anything but goes over to his assistant, who says to him that Gabriel has kicked out.
"It is quite clearly a foul [from Bamford], we see the kick [from Gabriel] – it is petulant, it is unsporting but it is not violent. I think it is reckless at worst. The first foul is by Bamford.
"I think ultimately the right decision has arisen from that.”