Soccer

Emiliano Martinez’s controversial FA Cup final moment and how VAR intervened

Clarity has been offered on one of the many contentious decisions in Saturday's FA Cup final.

The Video Assistant Referee did check to see whether Arsenal goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez handled the ball outside of the penalty box.

At a key stage in the match with the Gunners defending their 2-1 lead, Martinez rushed to the edge of his area to claim the ball.

Television replays were unable to show conclusively if the Argentine's hands followed his feet outside of the area, prompting backlash from Chelsea supporters on social media.

Blues fans were upset at a lack of replays or apparent VAR checks.

But it is understood that the picture doing the rounds on the internet suggesting he was outside was taken at an angle.

And VAR did look at the incident in the background while play continued and deemed the ball was on the line even though Martinez’s feet were outside of the box.

The goalkeeper also ensured his name was cleared by posting a photo showing the ball to be in line with the edge of the area in an amusing Instagram post on Sunday.

Referencing the Pokemon advertising boards in the background of the picture, Martinez captioned his post: "My best moment at Wembley was catching a pokemon #pikachu

Stand-in shot-stopper Martinez has been one of Arsenal's top performers since the restart.

Replacing injured No.1 Bernd Leno, the 27-year-old has proved himself worthy of consideration for a starting role with his important saves and excellent aerial claims.

After 10 years on the books with the Gunners, he was overcome with emotion as he reflected on his achievement after the final.

"When we started losing, everything looked against us, but.. I can't really talk," he told the BBC . "I said to him [Aubameyang] before the game, you are going to win us the game."

As Martinez struggled to hold back tears, Aubameyang took over, adding: "Big respect for this man [Martinez].

"We enjoyed today. We are so happy. As you can see, Emi is crying. That shows, that winning this game and this trophy makes us so happy."

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