Watford bizarrely share pic of ref Kevin Friend at full-time of controversial Arsenal loss with fans certain it’s a dig
7th November 2021

WATFORD included a shot of referee Kevin Friend in their full-time graphic displaying the loss to Arsenal.

The match was engulfed in controversy after Arsenal scored an 'unsporting' goal, leaving boss Claudio Ranieri seething.

Watford had kicked the ball out of play due to an injury but instead of passing the ball back, the Gunners went on the attack and scored the only goal of the game through Emile Smith Rowe.

The Hornets also felt they should have received a free-kick for a foul on Ismaila Sarr in the build-up, but Friend waved play on.

The referee then also sent off Juraj Kucka shortly before full-time.

And Watford's aggrieved social media team produced a graphic showing the two individuals with a caption that read: "A tough one to take."

Arsenal fans took note, and were unimpressed by the club seemingly apportioning blame to Friend for their defeat.

One Gunner wrote in response on Twitter: "We missed a penalty, got two goals disallowed and still won.

"Your goalkeeper was your best player, your striker missed an open goal and (you) had only one shot on target. How can you seriously blame the ref now, that's embarrassing."


Another added: "Tough one… Really??? it should have ended 3-0 in the least."

A third said: "You were thoroughly outplayed. Only Arsenal’s lack of finishing made it look close."

Ranieri aired Watford's grievances in his post-match press conference, suggesting Arsenal had not played fair.

He said: "Everybody expected Arsenal to give the ball back to us because there was an injured player.

“But after this it was very strange and I said to Arteta at the end that there was no respect in this action. Nothing more, just this.

“Then we got the ball and we were on the counter-attack and in my opinion there was a big foul on Ismaila Sarr but nothing happened and theory scored a goal.”

Arteta dismissed his argument however, saying: "I have to defend my players my team and my club. We are the most honest all of them. Even at some stages we are naïve.

"If he felt like that I apologise, but there was no intention to take an advantage."

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