Saturday 23 March 2019

Angry Arsene believes ref Dean wasn't spot on with his penalty decision

West Brom 1-1 Arsenal

Arsene Wenger and referee Mike Dean exchange words on the sideline at The Hawthorns
Arsene Wenger and referee Mike Dean exchange words on the sideline at The Hawthorns

Angry Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes the referee did not see the incident which saw a controversial penalty deny his side victory at West Brom.

The Gunners were on course for all three points after Alexis Sanchez's deflected free-kick put them ahead with seven minutes remaining but they were made to settle for just one point after Calum Chambers was adjudged to have handled a cross by former Arsenal full-back Kieran Gibbs.

The incident was similar to one on Saturday at Old Trafford when the ball struck the arm of Southampton's Maya Yoshida, but Manchester United were not awarded a penalty.

However, referee Mike Dean did point to the penalty spot and Jay Rodriguez held his nerve to convert the last-minute spot-kick to ensure it finished 1-1 at The Hawthorns.

"I think the referee has not even seen it, he's not seen it," said Wenger following his record-breaking 811th Premier League game in charge. "That's my opinion, but he will tell you he has seen it. But we have to live with the decision and deal with it and swallow it and go for the next game.

"It wasn't a penalty. It was not a deliberate handball. The arm was not up. You can not play football when you are as close as that. It is impossible. Where do you put you arms when you move, in your pocket? There are no pockets in the shorts.

"I'm angry because we see and see the same things again. We fought very hard years ago for the referees to become professional and yet we see no improvement and you can not say a word against it because they are untouchable."

Sanchez had a quiet match but it was his shot which brought the Arsenal goal.

The Chile international had been in the spotlight after Thierry Henry suggested there was a dressing-room rift at the Gunners after not all the team celebrated his first goal at Crystal Palace on Thursday night.

But, aside from goalkeeper Petr Cech, the entire team ran to Sanchez this time before Rodriguez struck.


Out of contract in the summer and with the transfer window set to open again in a few hours, Sanchez is likely to remain in the spotlight as speculation regarding his future mounts.

Manchester City saw a late move for Sanchez fall through in the summer but Pep Guardiola refused to rule out a fresh approach for the Arsenal forward yesterday after Gabriel Jesus suffered a suspected knee injury in City's 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace.

Asked if Sanchez had played his last game for the club, Wenger said: "He will play on Wednesday night against Chelsea."

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