Arsene Wenger has made some pretty amusing comments following our 2-1 win over Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, claiming that his side were robbed of a penalty in a game he felt should have been ‘all over’ at half-time – stating he’s ‘baffled’ that we ended up winning.
Strange. I do not recall any penalty incident, but it’s emerged that Wenger was not a happy man when referee Anthony Taylor refused to give a handball against Jamaal Lascelles in the first-half.
Not only that, he feels like they should have wrapped the game up in the first half regardless and was left ‘baffled’ by the final score.
Yes they enjoyed 72% of the ball and were on top for most of the first half, but possession stats and the odd promising patch of play doesn’t always mean you deserve to take all three points.
Here’s what he had to say when speaking to the press after his sides defeat to Benitez’s Newcastle, slating the decision not to use VAR after feeling his side were wrongly denied a penalty today:
“The referee is the referee. What you want is to help the referee. Unfortunately, the Premier League has decided not to go for VAR. I think that is a very bad decision.
“The Premier League has been created with people who had a progressive mind and wanted to be in front of the rest in Europe. It worked.
“It’s a bit like the story of the season.
“We had 70 per cent of the ball. We are 1-0 up and in the end you lose 2-1 and you wonder how we lost the game. It’s baffling how we lost this game today.
“That’s what happened today. It could have been over at half-time, we concede two goals from nowhere.
“In the second half I feel some players paid a bit physically from having the game on Thursday night in Moscow.
“We came back Friday morning.
Interesting that he mentions their Russia trip too. He played down talk that this would cause problems for today’s game in the build up to the game, stating that this was something they were used to, however he’s here using that as some form of excuse after the event. Convenient, isn’t it.
It’s fair to say Alan Shearer disagreed with Wenger, with him stating ‘the best team won’ in his post match reaction to the game.
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) April 15, 2018
Wenger then went on, describing the defeat as being ‘very hard to swallow’:
“Overall we played with good spirit but a bad result is the outcome.
“We have to live with that. It’s very disappointing, I feel it’s very hard to swallow a defeat like that.”
“I do not want to go to definite conclusions today.
“I think it’s very difficult to combine Europa League on Thursday night and play again on Sunday morning.
“You play in Moscow, you come home and play again away from home. This game is a bit special.
It would be hypocritical of me to focus on the stats, but maybe Wenger should take another look at some of them a little more closely. We actually had more shots on target than them and controlled them (despite their flurries of pressure) for the most part.
We were good value for our win and, as Shearer said himself, the best team on the day.