By Amir Mir
Former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher has stated that Laurent Koscielny’s last-gasp winner for Arsenal against Burnley on Sunday was legitimate.
Arsene Wenger’s side scored a controversial winner in the third minute of stoppage time to snatch a 1-0 win against Sean Dyche’s men, with ball appearing to hit the hand of Koscielny.
Replays showed that the final touch came off the Arsenal defender’s hand in the dying moments of the game and even Wenger admitted afterwards his team were “fortunate” to secure the win.
But former referee Gallagher told Sky Sports News that it was not “deliberate” handball by the France international and therefore the “correct decision” was made by referee Craig Pawson.
“First thing to say is he’s not offside from the cross and flick-on,” Gallagher told Sky Sports. “Handball has to be deliberate, but I don’t think it’s handball. It struck him and we are stuck with the rule where it has to be deliberate.
“People said his arms were up but that’s because he used his arms for elevation. He has actually mis-kicked it, it has flown up and hit him, so it’s not hand to ball, it’s ball to hand. There is nothing wrong in the law with what happened.”
Gallagher officiated 376 professional games during his career, including 261 Premier League clashes, before retiring in 2007.
Koscielny has played six Premier League games for his side this season scoring two goals, as Wenger’s side sit third in the Premier League table with 16 points.
Additionally the win at Turf Moor saw the north London club record their fifth straight victory in all competitions going into the international break.
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