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Arteta: Europa League VAR policy ‘doesn’t make sense’

The technology is utilised throughout the Champions League, but is currently only used in the Europa League from the knockout stages onwards.

Arteta says he cannot understand that decision and voiced his frustrations after Arsenal’s 4-1 win over Molde on Thursday night.

The Gunners cruised to an easy win to stay top of Group B, but they had a goal from Eddie Nketiah ruled out from offside when they were 1-0 down.

Replays showed the young striker was onside and Arteta afterwards urged UEFA to change their policy on not using VAR until the latter phases of the competition.

“I don’t understand,” he said. “I don’t think it makes any sense to it when we have the technology and we all believe it is the right call for everybody to do it. So I don’t understand.  

“We were complaining with the ref because we were told it was clearly onside, and obviously it is a situation that can change the game. So I think it is something they [UEFA] have to look at and, if possible, change it.”

In the end, Nketiah’s disallowed goal did not matter as Arsenal came from behind to run out comfortable winners at Emirates Stadium.

Martin Ellingsen had given Molde a shock lead after 22 minutes, but Arteta’s side hit back through two own-goals, a Nicolas Pepe strike and one from Joe Willock.

It was an easy night for Arsenal in the end and, just like he did against Dundalk, 21-year-old Willock stood out.

“I think he was really strong in his performance. I think the way he is approaching every opportunity shows how mature he is,” said Arteta.

“I saw his press conference and was impressed with the way he is communicating as well. I think he is developing the right way, he is a player I really like.  

“He has some very special qualities and he deserves every minute that he’s playing and he’s showing it with performances, with goals and his attitude.

“The thing is we have a really big squad at the moment. I said to Joe that I really trust him.

“This is a competition we are not treating to give players a chance, it’s as competition we take really seriously, we want to play players that are in the best possible shape to give us the result we need and Joe is one of them.”

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