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Arsene Wenger criticises referee after latest away day defeat

The Gunners are winless on the road in 2018 after losing 3-1 at Leicester.

Arsene Wenger criticised referee Graham Scott and refused to blame Konstantinos Mavropanos after Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Leicester.

Rookie defender Mavropanos was dismissed after just 15 minutes at the King Power Stadium when he brought down Kelechi Iheanacho.

The striker only put the Foxes 1-0 ahead 92 seconds earlier while Wenger also disagreed with Scott’s decision to award a late penalty after Henrikh Mkhitaryan felled Demarai Gray.

Jamie Vardy scored the spot kick and Riyad Mahrez added a last-minute strike to render Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser meaningless.

“It’s a creative, imaginative aspect from the referee. We watched it again, it’s a nice dive but it’s not a penalty,” said Wenger.

“I disagree with the red card because (Rob) Holding would have caught this ball and he (Mavropanos) was not the last man.

“This boy has 20 top level games, it takes so much mental energy at the start of your career sometimes it takes time to recover (from previous games).

“It’s frustrating, I believe we played a great game, with 10 v 11 we showed quality, spirit and overall it’s very sad.

“A decision went against us and we are upset because we lost a game we shouldn’t have lost.”

The boss also confirmed Jack Wilshere, who was left out after his wife went into labour, is close to signing a new Gunners deal.

“I’ve given him only one (bit of) advice, stay at the club. The noises I have heard is that he will do it,” he added.

“I hope that will be concluded very quickly and he can go to the World Cup with England and win the World Cup.”

Iheanacho scored just his second league goal of the season when he struck after 14 minutes and was then hauled down by Mavropanos less than two minutes later.

Aubameyang levelled eight minutes after the break but Vardy, his 21st goal of the season, and Mahrez struck in the final 15 minutes as the Foxes claimed just their fifth win in 20 Premier League games.

“The most important thing is the spirit, pressing and conviction,” boss Claude Puel said.

“It was a great performance. They gave their best and it was important to finish (at home) with a strong game.

“They played with strong conviction and quality. Beating Arsene is not important for me.

“It’s a good feeling to win our last home game of the season. The players wanted to reward the fans tonight, they put in place all the ingredients to win.”

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