Wenger’s whine nets Ronald’s ridicule

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS - By AGENCE FRANCEPRESSE in Liver­pool, Eng­land

Ever­ton man­ager Ronald Koe­man re­acted sar­cas­ti­cally to Ar­se­nal coun­ter­part Arsene Wenger af­ter Ever­ton ended the Gun­ners’ nine-month un­beaten away streak in the Premier League with a fiery 2-1 vic­tory at Good­i­son Park on Tues­day.

Wenger blamed ref­eree Mark Clat­ten­burg for award­ing the first of a se­ries of corners from which Ash­ley Wil­liams headed home the win­ner in the 86th minute.

But Tof­fees boss Koe­man re­sponded bullishly and claimed he tar­geted Ar­se­nal’s weak points by in­struct­ing his play­ers to be ag­gres­sive against the Premier League ti­tle hope­ful.

“I’m not sur­prised about Wenger’s com­ments be­cause it is the third time in a row that I won as a man­ager at home against Ar­se­nal,” said Koe­man.

“And that is three times in a row that it was about the ref­eree. OK — sorry, Ar­se­nal. We won through the ref­eree tonight, sorry!

“Their weak­ness is if you go face to face and win bat­tles and you run and you go. Then you need a bit of luck, and we de­served that.

“If you fight for ev­ery ball and are ag­gres­sive, you see the re­ac­tion of the crowd and with a lot of ag­gres­sion you can make life dif­fi­cult. Then it is re­ally dif­fi­cult to beat Ever­ton here.

“We showed that af­ter 20 min­utes. We went face to face against them and that’s what you have to do against teams like Ar­se­nal.”

Wil­liams struck from Ross Barkley’s cor­ner af­ter Alexis Sanchez’s 20th-minute opener for Ar­se­nal, a de­flected free-kick, was can­celed out by Sea­mus Cole­man’s header a minute be­fore the break.

Citing Clat­ten­burg’s de­ci­sion to award a cor­ner de­spite the ball ap­pear­ing to go out off Ever­ton sub­sti­tute Do­minic Calvert-Lewin, Wenger said his side had been hard done by.

“Of course it was not a cor­ner,” said Wenger. “It was the wrong de­ci­sion.

“You could see from out­side that it was no cor­ner. I’m very dis­ap­pointed be­cause Clat­ten­burg was in a very good position to see the player had the ball out.

“It is not the first time we are un­lucky with his de­ci­sion this sea­son.

“But over­all I don’t want to speak about the ref­eree too much.”

Half­time has­sle

The high stakes, with Ever­ton look­ing to end a fiveg­ame win­less run and Ar­se­nal seek­ing a vic­tory that would have taken it to the top of the ta­ble, spilled over at half­time as the teams left the field.

Play­ers ex­changed words and traded pushes, with Ever­ton’s Repub­lic of Ire­land mid­fielder James McCarthy ap­pear­ing to ac­cost Ar­se­nal’s Ger­man play­maker Me­sut Ozil.

“I was close to it and didn’t see a lot there,” said Wenger. “A lit­tle bit of push­ing, but noth­ing dra­matic.”

Wenger was adamant his play­ers did not freeze on the big oc­ca­sion and with a fer­vent Good­i­son crowd in­creas­ing the vol­ume as the game pro­gressed.

“We were a lit­tle bit less fresh and maybe we lost a lit- tle bit of ur­gency when we were 1-0 up and per­fectly in con­trol of the game,” he said.

“We are used to play­ing away at places like this and when you play nine months away from home un­beaten, then you have that nor­mally ev­ery week.

“They made the game phys­i­cal, they de­fended well, they played a cup game and made a big dif­fer­ence from what I had seen from them, the past few weeks.

“They fought for ev­ery ball. I don’t think they can re­peat that ev­ery sin­gle game.”

Ever­ton will have to do that in its next match — the Mersey­side derby at home to Liver­pool on Mon­day..

Koe­man reck­oned the vic­tory was per­fect prepa­ra­tion.

“Of course now it is a to­tally dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tion to go into Mon­day,” he said.

“We have three points in the pocket, a good per­for­mance and we showed we are very strong at home.

“We are still un­beaten at home. We know ev­ery­thing about the Mersey­side derby and if we play with the pas­sion we showed tonight, we can have a good re­sult.”

PETER BYRNE / PA VIA AP

Ever­ton’s Sea­mus Cole­man (left) heads in his team’s opener against Ar­se­nal dur­ing their English Premier League clash at Good­i­son Park in Liver­pool on Tues­day. Ash­ley Wil­liams’ 86th-minute win­ner ended the Gun­ners’ 14-game un­beaten run as the Tof­fees won 2-1.

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