Arsenal star Jakub Kiwior speaks out on VAR controversy after criticism from Roy Keane and Gary Neville
Jakub Kiwior has insisted that he was fouled in the build-up to Brighton’s first goal during their win over Arsenal.
The Gunners were beaten 3-0 on Sunday to all-but end their Premier League title hopes, after goals from Julio Enciso, Deniz Undav and Pervis Estupinan.
Enciso’s second-half header came as Kiwior hit the deck, claiming a foul by Evan Ferguson while clutching his ankle and allowing the cross to reach the Brighton winger. However, neither referee Andy Madley nor VAR believed he had been fouled.
“I felt contact, lost my boot and didn't even see the goal,” the defender revealed to Viaplay.
“I hoped VAR would intervene and chalk off the goal, but unfortunately, the referee saw it differently.
“After we conceded the second our heads dropped and we couldn't come back.”
Sky Sports pundits Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Patrick Vieira were unhappy with Kiwior’s reaction to the knock as he defended his goal.
“You talk about putting your body on the line, last-ditch defending and stuff, you don’t stay down like that,” Keane stated. “His boot came off, his foot didn’t come off.”
Arsenal legend Vieira stated his belief that VAR was correct to allow the goal, with Ferguson’s clip on Kiwior deemed accidental.
He said: “I think the question that you need to ask is, is it intentional? And I don't think that foul is intentional.
BREAKTHROUGH FOR BRIGHTON
Enciso heads it in for the visitors 👌 pic.twitter.com/bmrOJCJh2A
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 14, 2023
“I think it's just like, the contact, yes. But to be harsh, that goal has to be allowed. You expect your centre-back to be strong enough to stay there and defend first.”
Neville admitted that he was “almost scared” to criticise the Arsenal player for his reaction amid his surprise that Kiwior allowed the attack to progress despite his injury, which ultimately did not prevent him from finishing the game.
“I'm sure the lads in the studio, Roy and Patrick, might be thinking it and have a bit more to say,” he noted in commentary.
“If you're injured, you're injured. But as a centre-half, surely you just have to stand up and let the attack finish?”