Angry Arsenal fans voice their opinions online as match officials manage to reach an agreement on the Declan Rice handball incident

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After their 2-2 draw with West Ham United, Arsenal lost for the second game in a row in a little more than a week. The game was a confusing event, with the Gunners appearing to be in charge until losing it when they gave up a penalty against the flow of play.

Gabriel Magalhaes’ knockdown of Lucas Paqueta in the box caused everything to shift. The Hammers appeared to be playing calmly, and the crowd was almost silent. However, there were questions from Arsenal fans before the penalty kick over whether Declan Rice touched Thomas Partey.

There was no request from the VAR team for the refs to have another look, and referee David Coutts made this decision in the heat of the moment. Meanwhile, online Arsenal fans were pretty upset, so they posted photos and videos of the situation on social media.

There were suspicions that Declan Rice handled the ball during the buildup, but even if there was contact, it seemed unintentional, and an unintentional handball is not a crime in football. Due to the subjective nature of the case, VAR would not have been correct to intervene.

Ultimately, two penalties decided the match. The goal that the Gunners foolishly gave up as a result of two errors by Thomas Partey and Gabriel Magalhaes, and the following goal that Bukayo Saka missed two minutes before West Ham scored an equaliser.

Despite this season’s faults, Arsenal must exceed the judgments of the referees and survive on their own terms. As opposed to their title-challenging opponents Manchester City, Mikel Arteta’s team has already lost two consecutive games after taking a two-goal lead.

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