Arsene Wenger apologises after clash with fourth official

London, PTI | Updated : 23 January 2017, 10:12 AM
Arsene Wenger
Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger apologised after appearing to push the fourth official during a fiery conclusion that saw two penalties scored in stoppage time as Arsenal beat Burnley 2-1 to go second in the Premier League.

Burnley looked like taking their second point on the road this season when substitute Francis Coquelin tripped Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray powered home the first spot-kick in stoppage time to cancel out Shkodran Mustafi’s header.

But, in the last of the seven additional minutes, referee Jon Moss who had already dismissed Granit Xhaka and sent Arsene Wenger to the stands - pointed to the spot once more after Ben Mee’s high foot connected with Laurent Koscielny.

Sanchez secured the three points by chipping in his penalty but Burnley manager Sean Dyche felt it shouldn’t have been awarded because Koscielny was in an offside position.

Wenger had been infuriated by the decision to award the first penalty. The Arsenal manager was sent off and stopped near the tunnel to watch the rest of the match and Sanchez’s winner, before getting into a heated discussion with Anthony Taylor and appearing to push the fourth official away.

Wenger could face action from the English Football Association. “I regret everything,” Wenger said. “I should have shut up, gone in and gone home. I apologize for that.”

Wenger did maintain that “nothing bad” was uttered by him.

“I said something that you hear every day in football,” Wenger recalled. “Overall nine times out of 10 you are not sent to the stand for that. If I am, I am and I should have shut up completely. I was quite calm the whole game, more than usual.”

Wenger also insisted that Xhaka needs to show greater control. Xhaka, who joined last year from Borussia Moenchengladbach, was shown his ninth red card since 2014 - and second for the Gunners - after a two-footed lunge on Steven Defour in the 66th minute.

“He has to control his game and not punish the team with a lack of control in his tackling,” Wenger said. “We don’t encourage our midfielders to go down on tackles. We want them to stand up and not make this kind of faults. If it is a bad tackle, it is a red card.” 

First Published: Monday, January 23, 2017 10:04 AM
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