Gun­ners steal win, Wenger faces sanc­tion

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

Ar­se­nal man­ager Arsene Wenger could face an FA charge af­ter he was sent off and then clashed with fourth of­fi­cial Anthony Taylor in an as­ton­ish­ing fi­nale to the Gun­ners’ 2-1 Premier League vic­tory over Burn­ley at the Emirates Sta­dium yes­ter­day. Wenger, who be­came in­fu­ri­ated af­ter the award of a 93rd minute penalty to Burn­ley, later apol­o­gised for his ac­tions amid a fran­tic pe­riod of stop­page time. Ar­se­nal, re­duced to 10 men fol­low­ing the 65th-minute send­ing off of Granit Xhaka, saw An­dre Gray equalise from the spot kick only to be awarded a penalty of their own that Alexis Sanchez con­verted for a 98th-minute win­ner. Shko­dran Mustafi had given the Gun­ners the lead ear­lier on. Wenger had re­acted fu­ri­ously to the first penalty, awarded af­ter Fran­cis Co­quelin chal­lenged Ash­ley Barnes in the box, leav­ing ref­eree Jon Moss to send Ar­se­nal’s man­ager down the tun­nel where he ap­peared to clash with the fourth of­fi­cial. Af­ter­wards Wenger told the BBC: “I didn’t see any penalty from out­side but I should have shut up and I apol­o­gise, even if I was frus­trated.” Yet Wenger de­nied there was any phys­i­cal al­ter­ca­tion with Taylor. “It was not phys­i­cal. I just thought I could stand in the tun­nel,” he said. “Ev­ery week and ev­ery game is an un­be­liev­able fight for ev­ery­body. We fi­nally got the win but of course it was very dif­fi­cult for us. We couldn’t get the sec­ond goal, we played with 10 men and they played well as well. In the end, we got the three points we wanted.” Burn­ley man­ager Sean Dy­che, in charge for the 200th time, was equally un­happy at the award of Ar­se­nal’s de­ci­sive penalty when Ben Mee raised a foot at the ad­vanc­ing Lau­rent Ko­scielny. Dy­che claimed the French­man was off­side. “It’s a tough day for us in the end,” he said. “To lose a game in that fash­ion, with an off­side not given, is tough, par­tic­u­larly when you come to tough places like this. We have never taken any­thing for granted. We know how tough this di­vi­sion is but you need of­fi­cials to make the right de­ci­sions and that is the shame to­day.” Later in the day Chelsea beat Hull City 2-0 cour­tesy of goals by Diego Costa and Gary Cahill to keep their lead at the top of the ta­ble at eight points. Mean­while cham­pi­ons Le­ices­ter City’s alarm­ing slump con­tin­ued with a 3-0 de­feat at Southamp­ton yes­ter­day that left them just five points off the drop zone and firmly em­broiled in a rel­e­ga­tion fight. First-half goals for James Ward-Prowse and Jay Ro­driguez plus a late penalty by Du­san Tadic led the Saints to a com­fort­able win that came at the cost of an in­jury to key de­fender Vir­gil van Dyke, who hob­bled off in the sec­ond half. Ward-Prowse opened the scor­ing af­ter 26 min­utes fol­low­ing good ap­proach play from Cedric Soares, be­fore Ro­driguez dou­bled the lead in the 39th af­ter re­act­ing quick­est to a bounc­ing ball in the box to fire a left-foot shot past the keeper. Af­ter the break, Wes Mor­gan was for­tu­nate when his own goal was ruled out for off­side but Le­ices­ter’s cap­tain then held back Shane Long for a penalty that Tadic thumped home as Southamp­ton em­phat­i­cally ended a run of four suc­ces­sive league de­feats. Le­ices­ter man­ager Clau­dio Ranieri vowed to re­turn to ba­sics as they seek to pull away from the rel­e­ga­tion zone. “I think (in) the last matches I changed (the team’s) shape to try to help my play­ers play bet­ter but maybe I made mis­takes,” he said. “Against Chelsea (in a 3-0 home de­feat) we played three at the back and to­day we wanted to play with a di­a­mond. The play­ers are used to 4-4-1-1 and know the po­si­tions but I made a mis­take. “I think it is much bet­ter (to) give them what they know well. We tried to change our shape at half­time, to make a goal and we would have a chance to change the match. They won. They played bet­ter and de­served to win.” – Reuters

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