“I think he’s won the ball – it’s a clean challenge”

The penalty awarded to Arsenal at the Amex on Saturday was one of the talking points on Sky Sports’ Ref Watch feature this morning.

With the game scoreless and finely-poised, Gabriel Jesus ran at Tariq Lamptey, and looked to skip inside the Albion right-back as he cut into the area. Lamptey’s challenge saw him get a nick on the ball, before felling the Arsenal forward. Referee John Brooks, who had given everything he possibly could to Arsenal, had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, a decision that VAR chose not to get involved with.

Bukayo Saka made no mistake in converting the penalty, giving an Arsenal a lead they would not surrender as they ran out comfortable winners.

Social media was divided on whether a penalty should have been awarded or not. Many felt Lamptey’s contact with the ball kept the challenge on the right side of the law, whilst others felt that the continuation of the challenge, which sent Jesus tumbling to the Amex turf, warranted the award of a spot kick.

Albion fans were torn but there’s a likely to be some blue-and-white striped glasses bias at play.

The Sky experts were also torn, with ex-referee Dermot Gallagher feeling that Jesus would have had control of the ball if he had not been tripped, a view shared by former England international Sue Smith.

Stephen Warnock, repping full-backs everywhere, disagreed:

“Don’t think it’s a pen. I think he’s won the ball. I think the interesting thing as well is, when you actually listen to the game, you could hear the ball – you could hear him hit the ball.

“And the speed with which he was moving, the way that Tariq Lamptey has got connection on the ball – it was quite loud in fact when he hit the ball, and I thought it’s a clean challenge.”

It wasn’t too long ago that Doku escaped for this assault on Alexis Mac Allister because, you guessed it, he got a touch on the ball first.

There’s no argument that Arsenal were clearly superior than Albion in all departments on Saturday and, penalty or not, were well worth the three points that keeps them in the hunt for the Premier League title.

Penalty or not? Join the debate here!