Odegaard: ‘It was a soft penalty’

Martin Odegaard was disappointed in the officiating in Arsenal’s 2-1 loss to Manchester City, highlighting the ‘soft’ penalty they were given.

Speaking to beIN Sport after the game, Odegaard voiced his disappointment at the loss.

The feeling is not good, obviously. I think we played a great game, we managed to play our game, we put them under pressure, we created a lot of good situations, we scored the first goal and I feel like we controlled the game pretty well. Then you have three situations that go against us, and It’s obviously hard to take, but we did a good performance, and we did everything we could.”

Odegaard looked to have been caught by City goalkeeper Ederson in the box but referee Stuart Atwell didn’t review the footage.

To me, I took the ball first, and then he kicked my leg and that’s my opinion. Their penalty? It’s a very soft one. You can see it on the replay, he goes down, then Granit takes his shirt, but he’s already on the way, and the referee was standing behind, and he said no penalty and saw it clearly, and then on the camera you can always make it look worse, but to me, it’s very soft, so it’s frustrating.”

Arsenal defender Gabriel was sent off for two quick yellow cards in succession, a contentious decision which turned the game in City’s favour.

I don’t want to say too much about it, to be honest. I think after the penalty there were a lot of emotions, and it’s very easy to give a second yellow card like this, and also the first one is very easy. It’s frustrating. “

Despite the loss, the young Arsenal squad gave a scintillating display and look to have improved massively since their 5-1 loss to City at the start of the season.

Yeah, of course, if you look at the progress from our first game against them until now, it’s huge. We’re close to being at their level, we showed that in a lot of moments today in the game. With 11 players, I think we were controlling the game, we were leading, we played a great game. Even with 10 players, we’ve defended well because they didn’t create much before the last chance and the goal. We have to take the good things out of the game and keep going because we’ve improved a lot. It’s hard to take when you lose like this, we have to take the good things out of the game and keep going and keep improving and strike back in the next game.”