Ranieri right to suggest Arsenal got lucky against Leicester?

While a lot of Arsenal fans were complaining about the performance of the referee Martin Atkinson after he awarded a debatable penalty kick to the Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy yesterday, his manager Claudio Ranieri was talking about the official for a completely different reason.

The Italian suggested in his post match comments reported by Sky Sports that Mister Atkinson not only cost his side a point but all three as he felt that they were going to go on and win the match until the ref showed two yellow cards to the Leicester right back Danny Simpson. Ranieri also claimed that both bookings were harsh and although he did not do too much complaining he did suggest that this was the turning point of the game and hence that Arsenal had been lucky.

The Leicester boss said, “It was a fantastic match, very fast, too many fouls, I don’t know in a normal match if our two yellow cards were a sending off. Two normal fouls, but not for a yellow card. I think the referee was a bit more severe against us at that point.

“They were two fouls, but not two yellow cards. But that is OK. It was a great match. I am sure 11v11, we win the match. So, it’s OK. The match was full of fouls, so why send off a player?”

So is he right? Not on your Nellie! No Claudio you were not hard done to and if anything it was Arsenal that got the rough deal and do not just take my admittedly pro-Arsenal word for it. As usual Sky Sports have had the former Premier League referee Dermot Gallagher look over the controversial decisions of the weekend and he came down firmly on the side of the Gunners.

Not only did Gallagher back the double yellow for Simpson, he also said that Drinkwater should have joined him for an early bath for that awful studs up and high tackle on Ramsey. Amazingly enough there will be no retrospective action because Atkinson saw it. And to really show that Ranieri was wrong the former ref also said that they should never have had a penalty as the useless Atkinson should have blown for a free kick to Ozil in the build up.

He said, “Foul on Ozil to begin with, and foul on Vardy for the penalty.

“I think that is a foul by Morgan on Ozil. But what I would say is that this is a great example as to why technology would be very difficult to bring in, because there are three incidents in this build-up: the foul on Ozil; the Koscielny foul advantage and the penalty.

“Both yellow cards? Yes. For the first one he has blocked Sanchez off, Sanchez would have got around him, continued his run and maybe crossed the ball. It’s what you would call ‘taking one for the team’.

“For the second one, there’s no need to do this, when you start pulling shirts back it’s not the wisest decision to make and it didn’t give the referee much option.

“[Drinkwater tackle is] a red card to be honest. I don’t know why the referee hasn’t given it. If he sees it at that angle, it’s not one I can defend. It’s a red card offence that has gone undetected.”

So instead of moaning Ranieri should be thanking the referee for helping his team yesterday and that is not even taking into account the possible earlier yellow cards that both Simpson and Drinkwater could have been shown. Once again Arsenal did not get a level playing field from the officials but at least it did not cost us this time.

Tags Drinkwater Simpson vardy


  1. Yes he is, let’s be honest the fact we had to wait until extra time to get a win against 10men just shows how difficult it is to play against Leicester and how poor our attacking has been lately. If they still had 11men we wouldn’t have won considering we can barely play free-flowing football since Cazorla’s injury.

    1. Hi @GoonerLad,
      We need a 360 degrees analysis of this situation. It’s true that Arsenal was lucky…but Leicester were also lucky. It might be hard to prove, but I think the ref was bent on frustrating Arsenal. I’m not going to argue whether Vardy’s goal was a penalty or not…but I’ve seen players booked for what Vardy did. So he was lucky to get the penalty. To make matters worse, Marhez took a dive in the penalty area, and he wasn’t booked. If it wasn’t a dive, why didn’t he give the penalty? So as much as we might say Arsenal were lucky, Leicester were also lucky.
      I however agree with you that we threw away too many chances. We need to be more lethal at finishing.

      1. the kind of win/loss record we have under atkinson cannot be explained by just random chance. that degree of lopsidedness indicates there is a true causal factor at play : and it is the negative disposition mr atkinson has towards arsenal. he should be fired for bias; just like mike dean should be. the FA is corrupt. there are vid challenges in american football and they only take a few seconds: the FA should allow 1 video challenge per team per game. it would make results much more reliable than the crapshoot they currently are.

        1. we were lucky. but that doesnt mean we didnt earn it every 1/10th of a percent: we worked our butts off for 95 minutes. not even taking off 1 minute. they built a wall and we dont have good solutions for those. we kept trying and NEVER gave up. i’ve never seen a game like that. life lesson.

          1. Lucky? We won. When we lost with 9, 10 men in some matches, it is “it is they beat us”. But when we win against 10 men, it is “we were lucky”. Give me a break. We won. Period.

    2. Gooner lad you say we were lucky to win the game because our attacking was so bad off late but if are attacking was so poor why did Drinkwater feel the need to commit a red card offence to stop us? Why were we the first team to cause them to lose composure, causing the likes of Simpson to make 2 yellow card offences and Leicester getting their first sending off this season? Leicester were the lucky ones because they should have had Drinkwater sent off as well as Simpson not to mention that if the foul on Ozil was given they wouldn’t have been in a position to get a penalty to begin with. Walcott came on and delivered,Welbeck came on and delivered. Ozil was fire with with his inch perfect passes. The game was going in Leicester’s favour due to poor refere decisions. Leicester couldn’t bang against us in open play they scored a penalty because the ref let them play on instead of penalising them for the foul on Ozil.

      1. Why did Ozil struggle ? Why did it take us 93min to score a 2nd goal ? Why couldn’t we score the 1st one when they had 11men ? Just look at our record these past 2 months and you will see that we have been poor in attack and most importantly against teams where we expect to dominate and win.

        1. giroud was scoring 1 goal per game for a cpl of months. walcott had a purple patch in the last few months of 2015. right now, we’re only getting dribs and drabs. sanchez is off form, so is giroud, ramsey and walcott. but i think they’re going to regain form. it’d be great if we did a bit more outside shooting (like we were at the start of the season) bc it would keep defenders honest and relieve pressure on giroud. [but long term, it would be good to get a clinical striker than can dribble]

  2. Lucky or Unlucky, this is football….Luck is part of the game.

    Having said that’, I don’t think we were lucky. We kept pushing until the end of the game. It was a good game but Leicester were so physical and rough. Drinkwater almost injured Ramsey. That was a terrible tackle.

    I can’t even remember the last game we played @ the Emirates with the opponent one man down but truth is Simpson deserve to get the 2nd yellow.

    Ranieri’, You’re a good manager. #respect’ I love the fact that you don’t speak about the title in all of your press conference as you don’t want the pressure to be on you and your players but truth is ‘deep down within you’ You know you have a chance to win it..

    They have got an easier run in but they can still drop points against those smaller teams. Anyway’, we were not lucky. We could have lost or even drew the game with 11men v 10men. This is football…We won and got the 3pts.

    1. I got fed up with this “easier run” for Leicester. Look it up, is there to see. Leicester will play plenty of games against teams fighting to stay in EPL. It is all or bust for these teams. You believe they will have an easy one against WHU or SOU ? Or even against Chelsea at the Stamford?
      I just want to say something else. Something people overlooked because of the adrenaline last Sunday. Leicester was crap! Yes, they were crap. Two shoots on target plus one penalty. 30% possesion and disjointed middle. That means Arsenal was pretty much crap passing the ball mostly to the sides, no vertical action, no takes one on one. And not to mention the mandatory crap ref (it is 5TH GAME IN A ROW ffs!)
      Yes, I take my words back even if only partial : it is not only the money from TV deals. The big teams ARE CRAP this season. Really crap! We should have seen them now from a safe distance (like Chelsea last year) but here we are, 2 points off and the Spuds still in front. And don’t get me about the spuds, same $hit.
      One more thing I would like to add, Sanchez form. It is ATROCIOUS! Our best player is having an off. Every game. Keeping the ball, not releasing, getting caught and coming back after the ball. It is always the “Ramsey touch” , the extra touch. Release it man! Or just shoot it! You are pi$$ing off Ozil. So yes, were we lucky? From a ref point of view no. From how we played, oh yes! We did a Newcastle against Leicester and we should be happy we got the points. But don’t let the result fool you, in any day a team like So’ton would have won it. Leicester if is not cracking then they show at least signs that the pressure is taking the toll. Still to watch. I can’t call it, I have no clue if Arsenal will win it or not. If we don’y up it up like A LOT, we will see the chickens grab it. And this is the single most important thing for me. Anything but finishing behind them. Coz this calls for blood. And the one bleeding the most will be Wenger.

  3. No disrespect to ranieri but how could he say that Martin Atkinson cost his team a point, when for the majority of the match all the calls went Leicester city’s way?

  4. For crying out loud Mr ranieri Jamie vardy ‘s penalty wasn’t a good call in the first place, and you sir, want to talk about lucky?

  5. 1. The 2 Arsenal goals were not “LUCK” – they were fully earned.

    2. I do think the 2 yellows on Simpson were a bit unusual. But I notice Ranieri did not complain about the Vardy dive or that Drinkwater had been given his “final warning” from the ref just minutes into the game and continued with wreckless challenges including a clear red card offense.

    3. I would like to feel for Ranieri but how many points have Arsenal lost to, not just weak, but plainly ridiculous ref decisions (Mike Dean) delivered with full malice? Every manager (except Fergie) has to deal with a few games where things with the ref don’t go just right. You want to be champs? You must deal with some roadblocks. Grow up.

  6. Ranieri’s Leicester side paid the price for their indisciplined game against Arsenal with a sending-off of Simpson. And for sure Ranieri knew that. That his post match comment in defense of Simpson not getting a fair deal from referee Martin Atkinson is a save facing post match comment to justify the Foxes wouldn’t have lost the match to the Gunners if, blah……blah……blah.

  7. They are a good team and have had the run of the green of late but they were lucky to get that penalty as I see it it was not one. If it was still 0-0 Arsenal would have put the ball in the net because it was all Arsenal but we were under pressure because we were 0-1 down. All good we won. Think AW needs to put a very good team out Saturday because it’s a cup game and they will give it all on the park so me I would put the best out and try and win big

  8. We were lucky…Are You Having a Laugh? We were unlucky that most of our chances didn’t get past Schmeichel. You don’t just park the bus and call the other team lucky, you cheeky c u next Tuesday!

  9. Sounds a little angry after believing the giant killer hype. Well not against Arsenal, not against Arsenal. No sir. Sorry!

  10. This is the first time that mr ravioli has moaned about something, which Just goes to show that all that nonsense about Leicester not feeling the pressure and just enjoying the ride, was a load of B*ll*cks! ??

    Yes, we were very lucky to nick the 3 points in the dying seconds, but they were also lucky that our efforts weren’t hitting the target for the majority of the game. ?? End of!

    I’m just hoping that the stormy weather has finally cleared away from Arsenal fc and that this restbite in calmness isn’t anything to do with being in the middle of the eye of one. ?

    Koscielny and Gabriel are both doubtful for the Barca game,
    So stay at home. …. Don’t want you getting blown away! ?

  11. Thinking ahead, we’ll be in a very good position in the summer. Why? 3 reasons:

    1: We’ll have loads of money to spend, loads – we have all the money we failed to spend last summer, plus the new £1bn TV deal kicks in for next season. That gives us a huge advantage over foreign clubs like Juventus for example. We can offer far higher wages and therefore we’ll be a more attractive option for the players we try and sign.

    2: Chelsea and Manchester United won’t be in the Champions League. Why’s that important? That seriously reduces their pulling power in the transfer market, as well as their budgets, though they’re both richer than us anyways. In their place are Leicester and Tottenham, who realistically aren’t going to challenge us that much in the transfer market.

    3: We’re back competing for titles again, and hopefully we’ll be champions. That gives us major pulling power compared to what we’ve had over the past couple of seasons. If there’s one thing that is as attractive as money, it’s trophies. We’ve had a lack of trophies in recent years. Two FA Cups make us a little more attractive to top players, but two FA Cups, possibly three, and a premier league title in the past 3 years would make us look a whole lot better.

    1. but monsieur wenger believes that camaradarie & consistency, rather than big buys are in our future. i agree w him to a point. but i worry his innate cheapness, dithering and poor negotiating will lead us to miss getting “quick” solutions [like players that have already blossomed and not take more chances on youngsters]

  12. He has a point. However, Leicester were also lucky not to get a second red card. As was Coquelin as well, who for some bizarre reason wanted to pick a fight with Mahrez. It was a weird game. Frankly, Leicester was looking more dangerous in attack. Mahrez was toying with Monreal at will and Leicester could have got a second penalty. Until the red card, Arsenal were just throwing punches but not scoring any points. We looked very flat and ponderous in attack. Ozil was having a quiet game. Sanchez didn’t have his shooting boots on and Giroud was playing left wing for some reason. Walcott and Simpson turned the game in our favour in my opinion.

    1. we need to learn a new trick in attack. more direct buildup and just shoot. not to do it always, but if we do not, then defenders can then just get super tight on giroud and nothing good comes out of making a semi-circle around their bus and passing back and forth for ever.
      we need to shoot from outside more.

  13. I’ve only seen Ranieri upset ? twice this year. Both times vs arsenal, because we frustrated Leicester home and away. At home he wrongly felt hard done by. Away, we played counter attacking football to ensure we won the game, which tends to be their tactic. He was angry both times. Fair play to Wenger. Everyone wanted him to play le coq over flamini vs Bournemouth but he kept coquelin fresh and made sure there were no injuries and suspensions. Coquelin has more energy and was able to keep kanté quiet. Finally, people talk about kantes handball, which wasn’t . However, if we were less bothered about the handball, you would have seen that a first time cross from oxlade chamberlain towards giroud would have made a clear cut chance for him
    We weren’t lucky, both teams got decisions, but the ref was shocking. He should be demoted for next week

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