Wednesday 17 July 2019

Arsenal fans rip up White Hart Lane as Wenger opens up on Paulista decision

Arsenal fans rip boards off stadium at the end of the match
Arsenal fans rip boards off stadium at the end of the match

Arsenal’s travelling support ripped down part of the White Hart Lane stadium livery when they were kept behind after their side’s 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur in the Capital One Cup third round.

The away fans were kept behind and pulled away the “This is our club” signage on the first tier of the Park Lane stand. A spokesman for the club said Arsenal were “concerned” and that it “involved a minority”. He said: “We will work Tottenham Hotspur and the authorities on this”. Arsenal will play Sheffield Wednesday away from home in the next round of the competition.

Speaking for the first time about the rescinding of Gabriel Paulista’s red card from Saturday’s defeat to Chelsea, and his three-match ban, Arsene Wenger said that the episode – which has included a subsequent three-match ban for Diego Costa – was only “five per cent” compensation for the “damage” done to his team.

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He said: “It doesn’t help us too much. I watched the game again. It's better I don't talk too much because there are some thing that were really surprising in this game, some incidents were really handled very lightly and not seriously, and it's better I don't talk too much because I'm still angry about it.

Arsenal fans rip boards at the end of the match
Reuters / Toby Melville
Arsenal fans rip boards at the end of the match Reuters / Toby Melville Livepic

“I won't give you anything more. It's just difficult to understand. One or two situations in the game are very difficult to understand when you watch it again. I am in a job where I sometimes have to swallow things that are not right, maybe our opponents do sometimes as well. I just have to focus on the next game.”

Gabriel will find out tomorrow what his punishment is for the improper conduct charge against him for failing to leave the pitch after his red card. Wenger said: “I said to you after the game that he should not have responded at all and I maintain that and I told him that. But when I saw it again, he did not do a lot, honestly. You want them just to have hopefully a fair judgement and we will accept what they decide. That's part of it.

“I don't think they will [take into account the red card was rescinded]. They will judge that situation and it's right. They cannot consider the whole context of the game. You want them to judge, they'll decide and we'll accept the decision. That's no problem.”

Asked whether he was surprised that Costa was given a three-match ban, Wenger responded: “No”.

Read more: Shane Long bags a brace as Southampton trash the MK Dons

Mauricio Pochettino defended his decision to play goalkeeper Michel Vorm and defender Federico Fazio, both of whom struggled at times in a game win for Arsenal by Mathieu Flamini’s two goals. He said that Vorm in particular “deserved to play”.

Pochettino said: “It is a competition that is a good opportunity for him. We need to show more respect for him, you too. If the result was on the opposite side there would be some questions for Wenger. It was not a gamble, he deserved to play today.

“I don’t regret it [picking Fazio]. You can make mistakes. In football it happens. Maradona missed a penalty … this is what happens in football. They are not machines. We need to take a lot of positive things. It is true we are disappointed and we feel very bad. You want to win when you play your enemy. You want to win more. This is football we need to be happy in the way we play and disappointed because we lost the game.”

Independent News Service

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