Fortunately for Mike Dean and his team of match officials, Peter Crouch’s controversial goal against Arsenal didn’t prove to be too significant.
With Arsene Wenger’s men hot on the heels of Liverpool in their pursuit of a top four finish, a win at Stoke was imperative to keep alive their hopes of returning to the Champions League next season.
Having established a 2-0 lead at the Bet 365 Stadium through goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Özil, it had been a straightforward afternoon’s work for Arsenal as the game approached its final 20 minutes.
Then, Stoke pulled a goal back, Crouch controversially converting a Marko Arnautovic cross with his hand. The referee and his linesmen failed to spot it, and the goal stood.
Just as it seemed Arsenal were set for a difficult end to the match, Alexis Sanchez restored their two-goal cushion, before Giroud added his second to make absolutely certain of the points with ten minutes left to play.
The following morning, Crouch tweeted the words ‘slight suspicion’, words that many of those that retweeted and replied to it assumed were a clear reference to his controversial goal.
— Peter Crouch (@petercrouch) May 14, 2017
As much as we’d love to show you some poor quality video footage of the goal, Premier League broadcasting rules mean we’re not allowed to. Instead, here’s a poor quality image that still manages to make perfectly clear that Crouch used his hand.
‘Slight suspicion’ indeed.