Wednesday 21 February 2018

'They were more dangerous than us' - Arsene Wenger refuses to discuss penalty decisions after shock FA Cup exit

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Arsene Wenger refused to discuss the decisions to award two penalties to Nottingham Forest after holders Arsenal were dumped out of the FA Cup by the Championship side.

The Frenchman started his three-match touchline ban at the City Ground and watched on from the stands as Forest were awarded two spot-kicks on their way to a shock 4-2 win.

But, after losing an FA Cup third-round tie for the first time, Wenger bit his tongue.

He told BT Sport: "I don't want to talk about that. I'm tired about that."

Wenger made nine changes from the team that started the midweek Premier League draw with Chelsea and, while he cited tiredness, admitted the decision backfired.

"That's the inevitable question that comes in a cup game," he added.

"We had many players on the edge and play on Wednesday again.

"We didn't get away with it today."

Forest have been struggling in the Championship but Wenger felt they were worthy winners.

"Overall we played against a Nottingham Forest team that were very sharp and more dangerous than us," he said.

"We were a bit unlucky as well but we lost too many challenges to win a game like that."

Eric Lichaj scored twice either side of Per Mertesacker's equaliser before penalties from Ben Brereton and Kieran Dowell sandwiched Danny Welbeck's goal on a memorable afternoon for Forest.

Gary Brazil was not surprised by his side's victory and claimed Forest should be beating sides like Arsenal.

"It's been a good day but I've got to pay a massive compliment to the players in terms of their application and quality at times," said the Forest caretaker manager.

"I genuinely felt it was a game we could win, and as the game went on I felt it was a game we were going to win.

"Even when they got back to 3-2 I felt comfortable that we'd go on to win the game. They thoroughly deserved the win and all the praise they get.

"It's got to be something we build on. This football club should be playing against the Arsenals of this world, and should be beating them.

"These fans deserve to be watching Premier League teams and that's what we've got to drive towards."

Lichaj joked that team-mate David Vaughan robbed him of the chance to earn a new pet.

He said: "My wife told me if I get a hat-trick any time during the year that I get a dog, so I was trying to get the penalty but Vaughany told me politely - I don't want to say what he said to me - to go away."

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport