Cesc Fabregas was one of several football stakeholders who felt that Manchester City should not have been given a second half penalty during their Premier League clash with hosts Arsenal on New Year's Day. It was the first game of 2022 in the Premier League and it lived up to the billing with goals and quality football though it was controversial due to the performance of centre referee Stuart Artwell.

Arsenal had a very good first half and they led through England international Bukayo Saka shortly after the 30-minute mark off the assist from Scottish left-back Kieran Tierney. The Gunners finished off a very good move from their own half with Saka applying the final touch to give the team a lead that was well deserved. Also, Arsenal had a very good penalty claim when playmaker Martin Odegaard went down under the challenge of Manchester City shot stopper EdersonMoraes while he was about to get his shot away in front of goal. The strike from Bukayo Saka was enough to give Arsenal a lead at the interval.

The most controversial moment of the game then arrived just before the hour mark when Artwell was advised to go to the monitor after a tangle between Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka and his Manchester City counterpart in the box. Manchester City were then given a spot kick to the surprise of Cesc Fabregas. Cesc Fabregas shared his opinion on the penalty on his Twitter account. According to him, it was never a penalty and the centre referee made a big mistake by awarding the spot kick. Mahrez dispatched the 57th minute penalty and the task got more difficult for Arsenal two minutes later when key defender Gabriel Magalhaes was given a red card for two bookable offences. He had collected a yellow card forcomplaining about the award of the controversial penalty and Artwell issued him a second yellow card for a foul on his compatriot, Manchester City attacker Gabriel Jesus.

The Gunners held on with then men until Manchester City midfielder Rodri Hernandez scored the winner in the 93rd minute to take the points and move eleven points clear at the summit.