By Keith Hackett

8th Nov, 2021 | 5:00pm

Ex-Premier League referee: Arsenal goal should have been disallowed as controversial Maitland-Niles footage emerges

Arsenal should have had their goal against Watford chalked off for a foul in the build-up, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee insisted Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ “push” on Ismaila Sarr should have been punished by the officials.

Watford were also upset after Arsenal did not give the ball back after Danny Rose kicked it out of play when he noticed a teammate down injured.

Arsenal opted to take the throw-in as normal before losing the ball.

Watford attempted to launch a counter-attack before Maitland-Niles won the ball back by fouling Sarr.

“There’s nothing the referee can do in this situation,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

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“But there is a high level of expectation that if a team has kicked the ball out, then the thrower then returns it.

“It’s unfortunate that they didn’t apply that unwritten process. I can understand them [Watford] being upset.

“Maitland-Niles fouled Sarr, he pushed him off the ball. Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s my belief that VAR should have gone in and gone back to penalise that foul.

“The goal is scored and therefore it is within the remit of the VAR to go back and review that. It was a foul, he pushed him straight off the ball.”

Arsenal have now won their last four fixtures across all competitions and are unbeaten in 10 games.

They go into the November international break fifth, six points off Premier League leaders Chelsea.

In other news, Kieran Maguire has dropped a £100m+ Arsenal claim after a best-in-league reveal.