Wednesday 14 November 2018

Arsene Wenger critical of referee Graham Scott after defeat to Leicester

Jamie Vardy scored his sixth goal in his last six games against Arsenal.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appeals to fourth official Craig Pawson during defeat at Leicester
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger appeals to fourth official Craig Pawson during defeat at Leicester

By Nick Mashiter, Press Association Sport

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hit out at referee Graham Scott after the Gunners extended their winless away run.

Kelechi Iheanacho, Jamie Vardy’s penalty and Riyad Mahrez’s late strike condemned the Gunners to a 3-1 defeat at Leicester.

Konstantinos Mavropanos was dismissed seconds after Iheanacho’s opener while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did make it 1-1 after the break.

They remain pointless away from home in 2018 ahead of Sunday’s Premier League finale – and Wenger’s last game in charge – at Huddersfield and have lost seven straight top flight away matches for the first time since 1966.

And Wenger criticised Scott after he sent off Mavropanos and awarded a late penalty after Henrikh Mkhitaryan fouled Demarai Gray.

“It’s a creative, imaginative aspect from the referee. We watched it again, it’s a nice dive but it’s not a penalty,” he said.

“I disagree with the red card because (Rob) Holding would have caught this ball and he (Mavropanos) was not the last man.

“It’s frustration, I believe we played a great game, with 10 v 11 we showed quality, spirit and overall it’s very sad.

“A decision went against us and we are upset because we lost a game we shouldn’t have lost. It’s a fact we had to face.”

Jack Wilshere had to leave the squad after his wife went into labour but Wenger believes the out-of-contract midfielder is close to signing a new deal.

“I’ve given him only one (bit of) advice, stay at the club. The noises I have heard is that he will do it,” he added.

“I hope that will be concluded very quickly and he can go to the World Cup with England and win the World Cup.”

It was Leicester’s first league win against Arsenal since 1994 and therefore Wenger’s first defeat to the Foxes in his 22 years at the Gunners.

Wenger added: “If the team has one or two good away results they will play for the Premier League. I’m convinced Arsenal will be one of the contenders next year.”

Iheanacho scored just his second league goal of the season when he struck after 14 minutes and was then hauled down by Mavropanos less than two minutes later as the rookie defender saw red.

Aubameyang levelled eight minutes after the break but Vardy, his 21st goal of the season, and Mahrez struck in the final 15 minutes as the Foxes claimed just their fifth win in 20 Premier League games.

“The most important thing is the spirit, pressing and conviction,” Leicester boss Claude Puel said.

“It was a great performance. They gave their best and it was important to finish (at home) with a strong game.

“They played with strong conviction and quality. Beating Arsene is not important for me.

“It’s a good feeling to win our last home game of the season. The players wanted to reward the fans tonight, they put in place all the ingredients to win.”

Press Association

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