Alan Shearer believes Arsenal’s opening goal against Fulham could have been disallowed after Ben White blocked off Bernd Leno, though Ian Wright feels the ex-Gunners goalkeeper was just too ‘weak’.
The table-topping north Londoners restored their five-point lead at the Premier League summit after a 3-0 win at Craven Cottage on Sunday, with Leandro Trossard setting up each of Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard’s first-half goals.
However, Shearer felt the opener – which saw Trossard whip in a perfect delivery for centre-back Gabriel to nod home – might have involved a little foul play from White.
‘It wouldn’t have surprised me [if it had been ruled out] because Ben White is actually blocking the goalkeeper,’ said the legendary striker on Premier League Productions.
‘By the time he actually unblocks him it’s too late for the keeper to make a decision whether he’s going to come or not.
‘The ball is already in the air, it’s practically in the six-yard box. He might not have come for it, or he may have, but that option was taken away from him because of the blocking there.
‘It’s a good ball in, it’s a good header, but he is blocking him right up to the very last second, Ben White, so it wouldn’t have surprised me [if it was ruled out].
‘Having said that, it wouldn’t have changed anything today because Arsenal were much better than them.’
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Ian Wright conceded that Arsenal may have been a little fortunate that the incident was not spotted, though he has always felt Leno is vulnerable to crosses into the box and it was something the Gunners clearly preyed on.
Asked if Shearer had a point, Wright replied: ‘Well yeah. But at the same time I think it’s because they know Bernd Leno.
‘They’ve probably trained with him a lot and know what he’s about in terms of coming for crosses. I always thought that he was pretty weak with crosses.
‘And even getting blocked in by Ben White, who’s not actually really physically holding him. He’s just kind of in the way. He could just move him out the way. You [eventually] see him move him, but he should have done that ages before.
‘He should not have let him get in front because if he does that the referee would see that there’s interference and he probably would have maybe given a foul.
‘We’ve seen how easily they do give fouls against goalkeepers. But I think with Bernd Leno that’s his main weakness, he doesn’t want to come into that area. I think Ben White used his experience in that respect.’