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Wenger: 'Ramires dived for penalty'

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger accused Ramires of diving to win Chelsea's crucial first-half penalty yesterday.

Ramires (below) was brought down by goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny inside the area in the 15th minute, but replays showed that his right foot had made contact with Szczesny's leg rather than the other way around.

Frank Lampard's penalty proved to be the difference between the two sides. Asked whether Szczesny was lucky only to receive a yellow card for the challenge from referee Martin Atkinson, Wenger replied: "Yes, I was surprised. But he (Atkinson) could have given Ramires a yellow card as well."

Wenger was unhappy with both Chelsea goals, pointing out a foul on Francis Coquelin by Ramires in the build-up to Juan Mata's opener was not spotted.

"We were unlucky because there was a free kick for the first goal, and it wasn't a penalty (for the second goal)," he said.

Ramires suggested after the game that the challenge on Coquelin had been a foul, but added: "Today was very important for us, firstly to keep going and try to reduce the gap to Manchester United and Manchester City.

"The other thing is to play well in front of our supporters."

Juan Mata fired in the opener in the sixth minute before Lampard doubled the lead.

Poor defending that hurt Arsenal in the first half was replaced by determination in the second, and the Gunners grabbed a consolotion goal in the 58th minute when Theo Walcott tucked home Santi Cazorla's pass.