Arsene Wenger came away from the Newcastle v Arsenal match this afternoon and somehow came to the conclusion, that the Newcastle fans influenced the referee.
Well I have to say, if we did influence Andre Marriner then we didn’t do a very good job of it!
As early as the third minute, the referee booked Moussa Sissoko for a nothing challenge and it was downhill from there.
Not surprisingly, Wenger declared that the referee was correct in sending off Aleksandar Mitrovic, plus no doubt he thought Newcastle were lucky to get away with the six additional bookings as well.
The Arsenal manager reckoned that Newcastle were trying to stop Arsenal playing from the first whistle, the implication being that Steve McClaren had sent his side out with a cynical game plan.
Whilst some of the bookings were deserved, it was ridiculous to see the Arsenal players’ reactions time after time.
Arsene Wenger gave Newcastle some hollow praise, when he declared that just as at Old Trafford, United had defended well.
Bet he wouldn’t have said that if it had ended goalless…
“Honestly, during the game I didn’t see it (Mitrovic challenge), but I have just seen it on television and unfortunately it was a red card. He didn’t play the ball at all.
“I think the referee did all right and Newcastle maybe wanted to stop us from playing, from moving the ball quickly to stop our game – they tried that from the start.”
Did he do it on purpose?:
“Mitrovic went a bit overboard. It was maybe a bit unlucky as well, I don’t know. Did he do it on purpose or not? I don’t know.
“I must say that Newcastle decided from the start to make the game quite physical, we had to keep our nerve and not become a little bit aggressive as well, so I thought we did that well.”
Crowd puts pressure on referee…:
“You play away from home with 11 against 10 and you know that they play 15 yards deeper. You play 10 against nine in the final third, the crowd is behind their team – that puts pressure on the referee, it’s then very difficult and we didn’t find the space.
“They defended well and they showed why they didn’t concede at Manchester United as well, in the end we are happy to have the three points and win 1-0.”