Saturday 3 December 2016

Wenger: My players tell me that it was a penalty

Arsenal 2 Southampton 1

Mark Mann-Bryans

Published 11/09/2016 | 02:30

Wenger said:
Wenger said: "I haven't seen [the penalty] again, but they tell me in the dressing room it was a penalty - a 100 per cent penalty. Photo: AFP/Getty

Arsene Wenger was happy to take his players' word that the award of Arsenal's late penalty against Southampton was correct.

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The Gunners came back from 1-0 down to win 2-1, Santi Cazorla scoring deep into injury-time after substitute Olivier Giroud was brought down in the box by Jose Fonte.

Bobby Madley (C) gives Jose Fonte of Southampton a yellow card for a foul in the box. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images
Bobby Madley (C) gives Jose Fonte of Southampton a yellow card for a foul in the box. Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Southampton surrounded referee Bobby Madley after the decision, but the Gunners players had no doubt.

Wenger said: "I haven't seen [the penalty] again, but they tell me in the dressing room it was a penalty - a 100 per cent penalty.

"When you lose the first home game you cannot afford to drop points in the second. It is a win after Watford and, if you can put a few wins together like we have, we will be more confident."

Forward Lucas Perez and defender Shkodran Mustafi made their Gunners debuts, but Wenger admitted they were not at their best.

Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (C) celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Olivier Giroud (l) and Alex Iwobi. Photo: Getty
Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (C) celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Olivier Giroud (l) and Alex Iwobi. Photo: Getty

He said: "I feel both are short, they lack competition and their second half was much better than their first.

"They were a bit surprised by the pace and commitment of the Premier League, but they will adapt to that."

A Petr Cech own goal put Saints in front after 18 minutes, but, after Laurent Koscielny levelled on 29 minutes, Southampton's confidence appeared to take a hit.

Cazorla's penalty was the third Southampton have conceded this season in just four games and manager Claude Puel is not happy with that statistic.

He said: "I am angry for my players. I don't like to speak of the decision of the referee, but we have conceded, in four games in the championship, three penalties."

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