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Leeds v Arsenal suspended with players sent back to changing rooms by referee

Leeds United v Arsenal had been suspended with both sets of players sent back to the changing rooms by referee Chris Kavanagh.

The game at Elland Road began on time at 2pm, only to be halted just seconds later with the official.

He went over to speak to managers Mikel Arteta and Jesse Marsch as they tried to fix the issue, little did they know just how long it was going to take.

After a 10 minute delay, Kavanagh sent the players back down the tunnel and into the changing rooms leaving everyone rather puzzled.

The game was stopped with reports stating Kavanagh lost contact with his VAR team, though the big screens at Elland Road had still working.

There were loud boos from all four corners of the stadium when the players were brought off the pitch with chants of “What the f*ck is going on?!”.

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch appeared to gesture that the game should just be played on.

Phil Hay said: We’ve got a short break in play. Something’s gone on with the officials’ technology.

“Referee back across for another chat with one of his assistants. Giving the universal ‘crossed hands’ gesture, implying that something is kaput.

“Scoreboard has gone too…..

“There was some sort of power cut/surge right as the game started – lights in the stands flashing off and then on. Sounds as if VAR might have been affected. Teams are keeping warm at the moment but no play.

“Big screen is trying to launch again. Chants of ‘wtf is going on’, which are fairly understandable.

“Play suspended for now, due to a power cut – teams heading back down the tunnel.

“Officials are out to check goalline technology. Bouncing a ball over the line, prodding the net. Scenes.

“We’re in ‘trying to read facial expressions’ territory. Kavanagh wasn’t bouncing for joy coming off but we’ll see

“Teams re-emerging. Half an hour after kick-off

“Tannoy says 10 minutes until we restart.

“Okay, so power cut in Beeston. EPL had to re-test Hawkeye/VAR etc, hence the delay. We’re about to get going again”

14:13 – Sky Sports’ Sam Blitz: “The official line from the PA system is that there is a power cut at Elland Road. The players are going back into the dressing room and there’s widespread boos from the home fans.”

There around 30 seconds of play before Chris Kavanagh called for the game to be halted. The power cut meant his earpiece and microphone weren’t working, therefore leaving him with no access to VAR.

Sky Sports News’ Keith Downie cites a ‘local power cut’ for the delay. It’s surely a first for a Premier League football game!

14:22 – Sam Blitz: “Some fans who may have had specific trains home may be sweating over whether they can make them now.

“In the press box, our screens seem to be working fine and the lights are on. They did flicker very quickly in the first few seconds or so but then play carried on for around a minute.

“A couple of Leeds substitutes are warming up on the pitch. That could be interpreted as a positive sign given they haven’t been told to head back into the changing rooms.

“You do wonder whether there is a time limit as to when the situation can be resolved.”

14:26 – Sam Blitz: “A couple of officials are back out on the pitch testing whether HawkEye is working. Another positive sign? “Referee Chris Kavanagh is part of the cohort but he is in his pre-match kit, not his usual referee gear. They’re heading back to the dressing rooms now.”

14:28 – Leeds 0-0 Arsenal A few Leeds players are warming up on the pitch and the officials have been out to test the Hawk Eye technology, but they have now headed back down the tunnel. It’s unclear whether the test was successful or not.

14:30 – Players back out Players are back out on the pitch at Elland Road. We’re expecting a five to ten minute warm up then play will resume.

14:38 – Sam Blitz: “They’re testing HawkEye in both goals now. Ironic cheers from the Leeds fans when the bring the ball across the line. “Both teams are back in a huddle and we’re around two minutes away from restarting.”

14:40 – PLAY RESUMES! Right, let’s try this again! Play gets underway again with a Leeds throw-in, with just over a minute on the clock at Elland Road. It will be fascinating to see how this delay impacts the game.

Premier League leaders Arsenal held on to the win at Leeds in a dramatic finish after the game had been delayed by about 40 minutes because of a power outage.

There was drama in stoppage time when referee Chris Kavanagh sent off Arsenal’s Gabriel for kicking out at Leeds’ Patrick Bamford and awarded the hosts a penalty, yet both decisions were overturned after Kavanagh reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Impressive Bukayo Saka scored the winning goal in the first half by punishing Rodrigo’s loose pass, exchanging passes with Martin Odegaard and hit high at the near post.

More from Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to BBC: “I think we started really well, we had some terrific moments, we should have put two or three in the net but we didn’t and in the second half it was very different. A match more like what we expected, the way they play and the atmosphere you expect in this stadium.

“After that it was survive, we showed a lot of resilience and willingness to win especially going back to Norway on a Thursday night then coming here, I am so proud of the boys that is how you have to win football matches.

“Credit to our goalkeeper, and VAR was in the right place and with the power on it to make the right decision at the end that could have changed the game.”

On Bukayo Saka: “He is full of confidence, top quality , a really difficult execution from that angle, that’s what we want from our players.”

On the second half: “We put ourselves in big trouble , we started to lose one or two balls and they generated that momentum, that chaotic circle that is difficult to get away from, and we struggled.”

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, speaking to Sky Sports: “It was a really good performance from us. Discipline, concentration over the entire match even with the late start, which was strange on the day.

“A performance that showed that when we play the way we want to play, we can be very good. That’s the best team in the league right now and today we were better.”

On individual mistakes: “We’re making it hard on ourselves and not capitalising on moments when we’re on top in games. We could have scored four or five goals and we’d walk out of here feeling like it was the perfect match.

“But that’s where we are right now. I’m not discouraged. The goals will come. If we keep playing like that and keep believing in what we’re trying to achieve, we have big potential this season.”

On the delay: We said that none of us have been through this but the key for us was to stay concentrated and I think we did that.”

On Bamford’s missed penalty: “We practice penalties every week. Patrick’s one of our best guys in training. It’s disappointing he couldn’t finish it, I think it would have changed the game. At 1-1, I think we could have pushed the game. It’s a funny game sometimes.”

On VAR overturning the second penalty and Gabriel’s red card: “I didn’t see it, I don’t know what happened.”

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