(Watch Arsenal’s Bizarre Goal) Thierry, Shearer, veteran Premier League referee explain why Emile Smith Rowe goal against Man United wasn’t disallowed

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has explained why Arsenal’s bizarre opening goal against Manchester United wasn’t disallowed.

Emile Smith Rowe gave the Gunners the lead after 13 minutes at Old Trafford on Thursday night but his goal came in controversial circumstances.

David De Gea did get hurt during the corner-kick, but the injury was caused by his OWN team-mate Fred! Therefore, there is no foul.

The United keeper went down and Smith Rowe hit the back of the net with a shot from the edge of the box!

Referee Martin Atkinson appeared to be considering disallowing the goal but former Premier League official Clattenburg says he had no choice but to award the goal.

Speaking on Prime Video, Clattenburg said: “He has to give the goal here.

“Fred accidentally stamps on De Gea so it’s not a foul. He doesn’t blow his whistle [before the ball crosses the line] so he has to give the goal.”

Former England goalkeeper Rob Green, meanwhile, said on BBC Radio 5 Live: “It is an incredible decision.

“Yes, you have head injuries that are allowed to stop the game. But this is a genuine injury.

“It is impossible for Manchester United to do anything to stop the goal. De Gea would have saved it. An unbelievable decision. Amazing.”

At half-time, Amazon Prime’s pundits for the game all agreed that the right decision had been made.

Alan Shearer said: “It’s a goal because I didn’t see or hear the referee blow. Didn’t see a serious foul on the keeper.

“Only when you see it close you see his own player Fred actually stands on him.

“I don’t think I’m being too harsh here, the game hasn’t changed that much, that happens every game where someone is standing on your foot or on your ankle.

“With him going down like that – not a care to where the ball is. Yes, they hurt but I don’t think he should be staying down like that.

“He was back on his feet a minute later so couldn’t have hurt that much.”

Thierry Henry added: “When the ball went in Alan said it should be a goal and I seconded it because you didn’t hear the whistle before so you’re in trouble.

“If you blew the whistle before then you can have a discussion. The only rule that I know is you play until the whistle.”

Photo Credit: premierleague/Twitter

Chelsea Player Ratings vs Watford: Mason Mount, Kai Havertz, Ziyech stand out as Saul, Alonso put up dismal displays

Edouard Mendy

Fabulous save prevented an Azpilicueta own goal and saved well from Danny Rose as well. Good anticipation to block Cleverley 20 yards outside his box. Solid. 7

Cesar Azpilicueta

Had a very tough assignment up against Emmanuel Dennis and it was one the Watford man was winning comfortably early on. Looked like a player who hadn’t had many minutes for a while and it showed. Replaced by Lukaku with 20 minutes to go. 5

Trevoh Chalobah

Huge clearance from under his own crossbar inside two minutes as Chelsea were on the ropes in the opening stages. Moved into midfield after the break with Saul hooked but subbed off 15 minutes later with a suspected hamstring injury. 6

Andreas Christensen

Made his first start in almost a month amid his contract stand-off and was bombarded in the first period by Josh King, who had him beaten. Better after the break with Silva introduced but a bit sluggish having not played for a while. 6

Antonio Rudiger

Clever pass set Alonso away in the build-up to Mount’s opener but didn’t cover himself in glory for Dennis’ leveller and put in by far and away his worst 45 minutes of the season in the first half. Improvement after the break but he couldn’t have been much worse. 6

Marcos Alonso

Watford targeted him very early on and he looked incredibly rattled. Showed good touch and poise for Mount’s opener but the first half was brutal for the Spaniard. Got forward as lot as usual but his limitations were exposed regularly. 5

Saul Niguez
Just his second start in the Premier League and had a very sloppy first half as he again showed he hasn’t yet adapted to the speed of English football and was booked in the first half. Positionally all over the place gave the ball away too often, no surprise he was hooked at half time. 4

Ruben Loftus-Cheek

The game seemed to pass him by in the first half as the midfielder barely featured apart from giving the ball away poorly in the lead up to the equaliser for Dennis. Struggled to really get a foothold in the game, though he did improver after half time. 6

Mason Mount

Crashed an effort off the post after the game restarted as Chelsea finally arrived. He bagged the opener just before the half hour, then showed good movement and composure found Ziyech for 2-1. Showed his quality when Chelsea needed him the most. 8

Christian Pulisic

Could have had an assist had he released Havertz earlier but the German ran offside. Moved to wing-back after Lukaku’s introduction but had a quiet game all told. 6

Kai Havertz

Very unselfish to square for Mount to open the scoring but it was the right decision but was very quiet in the first 45 minutes. Improved after the break, forced a good save from Bachmann. 7


Thiago Silva (for Saul, 46′)
Brought on to shore Chelsea up after a hopeless first half and he did exactly that. Tuchel really would have wanted to have given him the night off but couldn’t. 7

Hakim Ziyech (for Chalobah, 60′)

Booked within a couple of minutes of coming on but scored 12 minutes after his introduction what would turn out to be the winner. 7

Romelu Lukaku (for Azpilicueta, 70′)

Occupied the Watford centre backs and had one half chance which was blocked. No rating.

Photo Credit: ChelseaFC/WatfordFC/Twitter