Mikel Arteta questions why Brentford equaliser was allowed to stand

Mikel Arteta was not impressed with Ivan Toney's equaliser for Brentford
Mikel Arteta was not impressed with Ivan Toney's equaliser for Brentford / JUSTIN TALLIS/GettyImages

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta insisted that Ivan Toney's second-half equaliser for Brentford was "offside" as the Gunners were held to a 1-1 draw at home on Saturday afternoon.

Leandro Trossard came off the bench to put the league leaders ahead four minutes after his second-half substitution. However, Toney cancelled out the Belgian's strike, nodding in from close range as Brentford kept the ball penned into Arsenal's box from a set piece.

Arteta's unfiltered unhappiness with Brentford's goal stemmed from Ethan Pinnock's positioning during the first phase of play. Brentford's centre-back appeared to be in an offside position when the set piece was initially delivered. Although Pinnock didn't touch the ball, letting it sail over to Toney at the back post, he was blocking Gabriel Magalhaes - at least in Arteta's strident view.

“If we apply what the referees told us every single week before the game," Arteta said post-game. "If you are the blocker then you are offside. It’s offside.”

Toney's volley across the box was headed by three Brentford players - including the now onside Pinnock - before Christian Norgaard steered the ball along the six-yard area for Toney to nod in.

Brentford have now taken 12 points from seven games with the Premier League's so-called 'Big Six' and Arteta was aware of the threat Thomas Frank's side would pose.

"A really difficult game," he told PLP. "We knew that. Credit to them for the way they competed. But I thought we were dominant and had good moments. We scored a goal against that super-low block they had. They took the game to that rollercoaster game they want to take you to."

Trossard had scored six Premier League goals for Brighton this season and opened his account for the Gunners on Saturday, much to Arteta's delight.

"Really pleased for [Trossard] and the team because he's a player who can contribute in big moments," Arteta said when reflecting on the positives of the point. "I thought he did well today. We could exploit his talent. He is a really brave player when the game is under pressure.

"Winning is about small margins. When you win you win by small margins. But if you cannot win it then you don't lose it. I thought the team still had a good performance today."

Manchester City travel to the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday evening. The reigning champions could reduce Arsenal's lead at the Premier League summit to three points if they defeat Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon. Arteta touched on the high-stakes midweek clash, saying: "Another big game. We know that. We will get ready for that. It will be another big one and another beautiful one."