Arsenal made it hard for themselves last night against a team that never wins in the game in the Champions League Group Stages, but Arsene Wenger reckons that the result was skewed by poor refereeing, including the first goal and Giroud’s sending off. My friends from Bet4Rate and other gambling sites are not at all happy as they made Arsenal a certain banker in their football predictions!
But Wenger thinks that things could have easily been different. The manager said: “It’s difficult because we had a lot of the ball and we had early chances. We were a bit unlucky tonight. I believe the first goal was offside and then afterwards the sending off was very harsh. We have to look at ourselves as well because the second goal killed our game. We are good enough to defend corners like that well.
“Apart from that we had a lot of the ball when it was 10 against 11. They were committed, they defended well and sometimes I felt that they stopped us from gaining an advantage without being punished by the referee, especially on counter-attacks where we had to play 10 against 11 in one half. We were not at our best but neither was the referee tonight.”
But Wenger did admit that Giroud’s first yellow was valid, but he completely disagrees with the vital second one. “The first yellow card was Giroud’s fault because he protested, even if there was no foul against him. After that he should have not protested to the referee. His second yellow card was completely unlucky to touch the guy. I do not understand the referee.
“I don’t think he saw the guy. It was completely accidental. It happened and I think at that moment it was not a second yellow. It has to be a foul on purpose and it was not on purpose. The referee should have given several yellows tonight based on that.”
Whatever we think about Wenger’s team selection or tactics, surely we have to agree with him that the referee was at fault for the sending off. Maybe Arsene should have swapped Walcott for Giroud when he knew there was a danger of a second yellow?