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How West Ham star Lucas Paqueta broke the rules to force Bukayo Saka penalty miss against Arsenal

How West Ham star Lucas Paqueta broke the rules to force Bukayo Saka penalty miss against Arsenal

He broke the rules, according to IFAB.

West Ham star Lucas Paqueta broke the rules ahead of Bukayo Saka’s penalty miss on Sunday.

The Gunners have seen their eight-point lead over Manchester City at the Premier League summit halved in the past two weeks.

First, Arsenal squandered a two-goal lead against Liverpool to claim just a point against Jurgen Klopp’s side. Indeed, the Gunners have now not won at Anfield since 2012.

Then, Arsenal threw away another two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at relegation-threatened West Ham.

The league leaders got off to the perfect start as Gabriel Jesus and Martin Odegaard put the north London side two up after just 10 minutes. However, Mikel Arteta’s men conceded just before half-time through a Said Benrahma penalty.

And with the score at 2-1, Saka had an opportunity to swing the momentum back in Arsenal's favour from the penalty spot, after a Michail Antonio handball. However the England international stunned the Arsenal section into silence by putting his effort uncharacteristically wide.

The miss proved to be costly as two minutes later West Ham equalised through Jarrod Bowen.

Yet, Arsenal fans have since noticed how Paqueta’s actions may have illegally affected Saka’s spot-kick.

Bukayo Saka’s penalty kick

A ‘behind the scenes’ video, posted on West Ham’s YouTube shows alternative camera angles of Sunday’s action, including a different view of Saka’s penalty to the one provided by the Sky Sports cameras.

Indeed, during Saka’s run-up, Paqueta is clearly seen screaming in the direction of the 21-year-old, presumably to put the winger off his spot-kick.

And according to IFAB laws, such an action is illegal. According to IFAB’s Law 12, a player should be booked if trying to verbally distract an opponent.

The law claims a player should be cautioned should they “verbally distract an opponent during play or at a restart.”

While Arsenal fans will feel hard done by, Arteta insisted after the game that the north Londoners only had themselves to blame for squandering a two-goal lead for the second game in succession.

Kwizly Quiz

Arteta told Sky Sports: "We could not control what West Ham was proposing [after the first goal]. If you concede two or three goals away from home, it is very difficult to win football matches.

"We have to blame ourselves with how we defended those two goals in our boxes.

"We need to have that ruthless mindset to go and kill a team. When a team is there for the taking, we have to kill the team. And when you don't do that in the Premier League, at some stage it's going to turn around.

"You have to fight and earn the right to play, but when we need it, you need to have more composure."

Featured Image Credit: West Ham via YouTube/Alamy

Topics: Football, Arsenal, Bukayo Saka, West Ham United, Premier League