Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Wenger facing ban after furious spat with fourth official

Arsenal 2-1 Burnley

By Jack de Menezes

Arsene Wenger apologised to Anthony Taylor after the Arsenal manager was sent-off during a frantic 2-1 victory over Burnley for pushing the fourth official after the visitors were awarded an injury-time penalty, but he faces a touchline ban for an incident that he immediately regretted.

With his side already down to 10 men following Granit Xhaka's second red card at the Emirates Stadium this season, Wenger watched on in anger as Andre Gray equalised from the penalty spot following Francis Coquelin's foul on Ashley Barnes.

Referee Jon Moss marched over to the touchline afterwards, consulted fourth official Taylor, and sent Wenger to the stands. However, he appeared in the tunnel soon after, and when Taylor told him to leave, the Arsenal manager twice pushed him before leaving.

Wenger revealed he also said something offensive to the official, though refused to say what that was, and faces action by the Football Association that could result in a touchline ban.

"I regret everything," Wenger said afterwards. "I should have shut up and gone home basically. And I apologise for that."

Asked if he has spoken to the officials, Wenger answered: "Not yet because I have a press conference to make. It was nothing bad, I said something that you hear every day in football. Overall nine times out of 10 you are not sent to the stands for that but if I am I am and I should have shut up completely. I was quite calm the whole game, more than usual, but just in the last two or three minutes…"

But while he apologised for his actions, he insisted that the 98th-minute penalty for his side that Alexis Sanchez converted to win the match was the correct call and that Burnley defender Ben Mee should have been sent off, while claiming that the decision to penalise Coquelin was the wrong one.

"I saw it but it didn't look a penalty to me," Wenger said of the foul on Barnes. "Maybe it was one I don't know.

"Our penalty I saw on television. I think it was a penalty and a red card."

Wenger's side were put under pressure thanks to Xhaka's second red card of the season, having also been sent off by the same referee, Jon Moss, in the 3-2 win over Swansea City here last October. The Arsenal manager was unsure if the two-footed challenge was a straight dismissal, but refused to explain if he felt that the previous sending-off proved decisive in Moss's thinking.

"Xhaka's red, honestly I have to look at it again but the noises I get are that it was a red card," he said. "He has to control his game and not punish the team with a lack of control in his tackling. We don't encourage our midfielders to go down on tackling, we want them to stand up and not to make this kind of fouls. If it's a bad tackle it's a red card.

"I'm disappointed that we played with 10 men. We've got two red cards and four penalties at home now - you cannot say we make it easy for ourselves."

ARSENAL: Cech, Gabriel, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Ozil (Bellerin, 89 mins), Iwobi (Coquelin, 69 mins), Sanchez, Giroud (Wellbeck, 87 mins). Unused subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Perez, Oxlade-Chamberlain.

BURNLEY: Heaton, Lowton, Keane, Mee, Ward, Boyd, Marney (Tarkowski, 76 mins) Defour (Vokes, 77 mins), Hendrick (Barton, 73 mins), Barnes, Gray. Unused subs: Robinson, Flanagan, Kightly, Darikwa.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph