Wenger fumes at ref after Chelsea run riot

LONDON: Arsene Wenger was fuming with referee Andre Marriner after his decision to rule out a goal from Andrey Arshavin ended Arsenal’s hopes of a second-half fightback against Chelsea.Wenger’s side were trailing 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday when Arshavin lashed home from close range early in the second half. Marriner ruled that Arsenal forward Eduardo had been guilty of dangerous play as he flicked the ball away from Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech’s grasp moments before Arshavin struck. With that decision went Arsenal’s last chance of a lifeline and Didier Drogba scored his second goal of the game late on to seal Chelsea’s 3-0 victory.

QUALITY ON SHOW: Didier Drogba celebrates after scoring Chelsea's third goal against Arsenal during match at Emirates Stadium in London. Chelsea won 3-0 on Sunday. -AFP Photo

QUALITY ON SHOW: Didier Drogba celebrates after scoring Chelsea's third goal against Arsenal during match at Emirates Stadium in London. Chelsea won 3-0 on Sunday. -AFP Photo

“How can he see Eduardo kicking the ball from Cech when it was a Chelsea player kicking the ball? That was a very important goal in this kind of game and it was big mistake by the referee,” Wenger said.

“What can you say about referees this year? The Chelsea vs Manchester United game was clearly decided by the referee. It is important they don’t make mistakes in big games.

“I believe he made a massive mistake at a very important part of the game. He can’t say to me that he saw Eduardo kicking the ball out of Cech’s hands.

“He told me it was dangerous play from our player. He got the turning point of the game wrong. It was not a serious decision.”

Wenger, whose side are now 11 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, acknowledged that his players’ sloppy defending was also to blame for the defeat, but he refused to give Chelsea any credit for a ruthless display.

“The score is a very unfair reflection of the game but it is the score and we cannot change it now,” Wenger added.

“I believe that Chelsea had absolutely everything for them. The first shot on goal they scored and the second cross they scored. And after that it was difficult.

“They are physically strong players, but that is the impression you get when they are 2-0 up. They just defended in their own half and attacked on the break.

“They lost many balls and made many technical mistakes but we couldn’t take advantage.”

While Wenger was left to lick his wounds, Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti could savour another emphatic display that extended his side’s lead at the top to five points over Manchester United.

“It was a very good performance. If you win 3-0 at Arsenal you have to do a good job. The defence did a fantastic job, all the players worked for the team,” he said.

“Arsenal kept the ball well in the first half but we always had the possibility to score on the counter-attack. We stopped them in midfield. There we won the game.”

Chelsea’s potent combination of power and poise proved too much for Arsenal and Ancelotti, who revealed Ashley Cole had suffered a slight muscle tear, admitted he was impressed with the way his players set about the task of subduing a team who had won every home match this season.

“Strength is a quality of this team, we have to use this. We have a lot of different qualities, mental as well as physical,” Ancelotti said. — AFP

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