Monday 10 December 2018

'I'm too angry to talk about it' - Arsene Wenger hits out at penalty awarded to Eden Hazard

Arsenal's Hector Bellerin celebrates after scoring his sides second goal. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Arsenal's Hector Bellerin celebrates after scoring his sides second goal. Photo: Julian Finney/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger continued his outspoken criticism of Premier League referees as he described the decision to hand Chelsea a penalty in a thrilling 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium as 'farcical'.

Wenger could be facing a touchline ban as he suggested his team are being given unfair treatment by match officials in recent weeks and he admitted he was angry after Eden Hazard was given a penalty after a clash with Hector Bellerin in the box.

Hazard stepped forward to draw his team level after Jack Wilshere's opener, with Chelsea believing they had won the game when Marcos Alonso fired a late second goal for the vistors.

Yet there was to be a twist in the tale as Bellerin blasted a stunning late leveller, with Alvaro Morata and Davide Zappacosta having chances after that to win the game for Chelsea.

Yet it was Wenger's anger that shone through as he gave his verdict on night when his side showing fighting qualities to avoid defeat.

"A fantastic football game," he declared. "The regret we have is we were first to score and after that we have a farcical decision.

"We looked like we were mentally shot and could have lost the game - we had the resources to come back to 2-2. Maybe it was a fair result."

When asked about the penalty decision, his mood appeared to turn dark as he added: "Look, since the start of the season it is what we have to take. I say it's a farcical decision - you could give 10 penalties like that a game.

"You read the foreign papers what they write about that and the English papers and you will see a difference. I'm too angry to talk about this any more.

"Games are spoiled by factors you cannot determine - we can only continue to play the way we want to play and hope things go for us.

"It's all opinions. But when your opinions go the same way - what is repeated is not coincidence. I'm happy with the quality of our games."

Hazard insisted it was a penalty and TV replays backed up his assertion, but his manager Antonio Conte was not happy with his side's efforts on a night when they missed a host of clear cut chances.

"I think it is a pity because when you have so many chances to score you must win the game," said the Italian. "Instead we are talking about a draw against a good team, but in this game we deserved to win as we created a lot of chances.

"We must be disappointed, we had a great chance to win, but we must accept the final result. We win together, we lose together, we draw together."

The result leaves Arsenal eight points behind third-placed Chelsea in the table, with Tottenham having a chance to move four points clear of their local rivals if they beat West Ham on Thursday.

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Online Editors

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport