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Wenger: We should have had a penalty against Chelsea

ESPN staff
December 24, 2013 « Sherwood lands Tottenham job on 18-month contract | Chartbeat test »
Wenger: We should have had a penalty

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit out at referee Mike Dean for failing to award his side a penalty against Chelsea in a goalless draw at the Emirates on Monday evening.

Wenger was disappointed that Theo Walcott was not awarded a spot kick for Wilian's challenge in the penalty area in the first half, and also lamented John Obi Mikel's challenge on Mikel Arteta that he believed warranted a red card.

"I think the referee did not have a great game," stated Wenger. "It's Christmas so let's give everyone his own opinion and I can have mine, but what can you say?

"Honestly I have to watch [the Mikel tackle] again on television. On the pitch it looked bad, but the referee was in a good position. I have to watch that again.

"On the penalty decision, I think it was a penalty, honestly. If I am wrong I apologise but from outside it looked a penalty. I haven't seen it on video."

Wenger's annoyance over decisions that went against him contributed to his view that his Arsenal side missed a glorious opportunity to secure a vital victory against Jose Mourinho's men was his overriding emotion.

"We dropped two points [in this game], but what we want to focus on is to win the next game," he said ahead of his side's trip to face West Ham at Upton Park on Thursday.

"Chelsea defended well, they were well-organised and we didn't find our zippy movements to play through the lines as we can do, but I think in the second half there was room to win the game. Overall they were happy with a point, we were not happy with a point, but we couldn't take the few chances we created.

"I felt we were a bit edgy because we conceded six goals at Man City. It played a bit of a part in our head at the start of the game. In the second half we took control of the game and we had two or three chances where maybe we could have done better.

"You could still see that the two games we played at Napoli and at Man City had a little part, a little weight in our heads, but the fact that Chelsea gave us that problem, we want to be strong enough to deal with that."

"If after the first game against Aston Villa I would have told you that at Christmas we would be top of the league, you would have said you are absolutely mad, so let's not go completely overboard," he added.

"We are where we are, we have gone through the last three games, which were a bit more difficult. We still have played Everton, we have played Man City and we have played Chelsea.

"We go through a patch that is a bit more difficult, I agree with you, but part of a successful season is how well you deal with that. I must say the spirit of the players is unbelievably focused, we have a great desire. We go through a period where it's a bit more difficult, but with that spirit we'll come out of that."

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