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Wenger 'amazed' by ref decision in Arsenal draw

ESPN staff
November 7, 2012 « Walcott evades Arsenal contract question | Chartbeat test »

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was pleased with his side's improvement in their 2-2 draw with Schalke, but again put refereeing in focus.

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The Gunners surrendered a two-goal lead to draw 2-2, but it was a much-improved effort compared to the limp display in their defeat to Manchester United at the weekend.

"For us it was important first of all not to lose and if possible to win,'' Wenger said. "We managed the first part, not the second one. I felt that overall we played reasonably well, but we dropped physically in the second half and the regret we have is that overall we conceded the goal just before half-time and we missed a chance at the end of the game.

"I think the two, of course, have a big impact on the result overall. Schalke never gave up and worked hard. I believe we have shown a good response to Saturday's game and you feel the team is getting better. I think in one month, if we continue to develop, we will be there.''

Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud gave the Gunners a 2-0 lead but Klaas Jan Huntelaar pulled a goal back before the interval and Jefferson Farfan's second-half goal earned the German side a point.

Wenger was clearly irritated by referee Nicola Rizzoli's decision not to award a foul in the build-up to Huntelaar's goal and also for booking Lukas Podolski for protesting at the game being stopped when he was through on goal.

He said: "Yes, [it was a foul] on Walcott and he gave the foul against Walcott. I invite you to see it again. It is a foul from Afellay on Walcott, 100%.''

Wenger added: "I must say there was another decision that was absolutely amazing. It was the first time I saw that in my long experience, to stop the game when a player has rolled over on his ankle. I have never seen that when you have a goal chance.

"The group is open. I believe we are of course in a position where you want to win our home game. If we win, we have a 50% chance to be through because Schalke plays Olympiakos here. They are in a position where they have absolutely to win that game as well.

"It will of course depend on our result first against Montpellier and then we will see what happens here. It could go to last game; we could, with luck, do it in the next game. Anyway, we are in a position where we must win against Montpellier.''

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