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Shay Given Could Not Believe John Hartson's Opinion On Ederson Penalty Decision

Shay Given Could Not Believe John Hartson's Opinion On Ederson Penalty Decision
Gary Connaughton
By Gary Connaughton
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This evening's clash between Arsenal and Manchester City was without doubt the biggest game of the Premier League season so far, meaning we were always likely to have some drama at The Emirates.

The first clash was a very intriguing one, with some moments of real quality as well as a few nerves on show.

City took the lead in the game via Kevin De Bruyne, with the Belgian doing well to capitalise on a loose backpass from Takehiro Tomiyasu and finish beyond an onrushing Aaron Ramsdale.

However, their lead wouldn't last long.

Around five minutes before halftime, Arsenal would be awarded a penalty after referee Anthony Taylor adjudged that Ederson had cleaned out Eddie Nketiah in the City box. The decision took many people by surprise, although replays did indicate that the Brazilian had taken down the striker


Bukayo Saka would score the resulting penalty to level the game.

Shay Given & John Hartson disagree on Ederson penalty decision

This decision has split opinion. Many felt that it was harsh, with the goalkeeper having little option but to come out and make a challenge.


In saying that, if an outfield player made a similar challenge in the box there would be few that would disagree with the decision.

Speaking on Premier Sports, Shay Given and John Hartson had very different opinions on the decision.

Given: Not one Arsenal player has looked for a penalty...

Some Arsenal-minded player might say that he took him out, but he got his shot off and there's a natural coming together. As a goalkeeper you've got to comer out and make yourself as big as you can to try and get a block on the ball. He doesn't and there's a natural coming together between the two players.

Hartson: I don't think Ederson is anywhere near the ball. He comes in and clearly takes Nketiah out, his momentum does that. He is coming out and has got nowhere, but there is contact with Nketiah. If there is contact between the goalkeeper and the player it has to be a penalty. For me it is a penalty.

Given: I disagree totally. I don't think it's a penalty, that's not me with my Manchester City hat on. As a goalkeeper, he is trying to make himself big and get a block on it.

Hartson: He takes the player out. If that's an outfield player doing that to Nketiah, it's a penalty...

Given: You can always tell by the player reaction on the pitch. The Manchester City players were shocked, but it's the Arsenal players I'm on about. Not one single Arsenal player ran to the referee claiming a penalty.

Hartson: Ederson has completely taken Nketiah out. He is nowhere near the ball, the ball is going into the net, it's a brilliant clearance from Ake.

Given: It's a natural coming together, John. You have that as a goalkeeper.

Given is most likely speaking from the perspective of both a goalkeeper and former Man City player here.

While these challenges were once permitted, they are being given as a penalty more and more often in recent times.


SEE ALSO: Henry Identifies Shortcoming In Erling Haaland's Game That Is Causing Current Problems

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