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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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By ESPN Staff

Gallagher hails 'phenomenal' spot by ref Webb

Former top-flight referee Dermot Gallagher believes officials made the 'decision of the season' in awarding Arsenal's late equaliser against Manchester United on Saturday.

The Gunners grabbed a 2-2 draw from a pulsating Premier League clash at the Emirates Stadium when assistant referee Darren Cann signalled William Gallas' shot had crossed the line.

'It is tremendous,' Gallagher told Sky Sports. 'If you watch it at speed it is such a great spot and probably the decision of the season so far.

'It is nice to talk about positives in such a match that is so high profile.

'It's all right seeing it in slow motion, but seeing it at normal speed it's a phenomenal spot.

'He has got in the perfect position and made the right judgement, it's tremendous.'

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson accused referee Howard Webb of favouring Arsenal after the top-of-the-table encounter but Gallagher felt all the big decisions were correct.

Ferguson thought United should have had a free-kick for a foul on Louis Saha prior to Arsenal gaining the possession that led to Gallas' goal.

Gallagher added: 'There were two minutes between that incident and when the ball went in the net. There are so many variables.

'We can look at any match and discuss any decision. Unless it is a mandatory thing that everyone sees, refereeing is not an exact science. That's how the referee saw it and that's what he gave.

'Maybe some of his (Ferguson's) comments were born of disappointment. You are 93 minutes into the match, you think you've killed it off and then it goes against you.'

Gallagher was full of praise for Webb, who he believes to be one of the game's brightest prospects.

He said: 'He has certainly got potential to be one of the best referees in the world.

'He is young, talented and got great man-management skills. His recognition of offences on the field was first class and with any luck we could be seeing a future World Cup referee.'