Arsenal were 2-1 down to Bolton and on the defence when William Gallas scythed through Mark Davies and left him for dead on the floor, but the referee, Alan Wiley, waved play on and Cesc Fabregas finished off the counter attack by scoring the equaliser.
Owen Coyle was absolutely furious that neither the referee or the Arsenal team stopped the game so that Davies could receive treatment, and Coyle believes that this affected the result of the game.
“There’s no doubt it was a big turning point in the game.” he said. “It’s clearly a foul. It’s closer to a red card than anything else.
“The fact the referee’s not seen that, and the lad’s prostrate on the ground, and Arsenal being full of fair play as we keep hearing, carried on playing and score on the break.”
“It was a bad tackle. There’s no getting away from it.
“I could accept it if William Gallas had got a bit of the ball, but he’s touched absolutely none of it. Mark has played the ball forward and he’s caught him late. That’s rubbed salt into the wounds.”
Arsene Wenger (of course!) didn’t see the incident, but still felt it was only fair to apologise to Coyle afterwards.
He said: “I’m sorry if the tackle was not good. Really. There are two things I’ve heard just now. One, that he was not happy with the tackle. I’m sorry the tackle was not a good one, and I apologise.”
But that was the only bad point for Arsenal in a game where they showed fantastic class to come back from a 2-0 deficit to win the game 4-2, and finally go TOP OF THE LEAGUE!
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