March 9 2014 Latest news:
By Paul Lagan at the Emirates Stadium
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Arsene Wenger felt that two crucial decisions went against his Arsenal side as they played out a stalemate at home to Chelsea – but refused to be drawn into a war of words with Blues boss Jose Mourinho.
The Gunners chief was annoyed that a penalty claim was ignored for a foul on Theo Walcott and that Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel was not sent off for a tough challenge on Mikel Arteta.
“We are used to it,” was his controlled response.
He would not be drawn into a spat with his rival manager who claimed of Arsenal afterwards: “They like to cry, that’s a tradition.”
Wenger responded, saying: “I think it was mot a great game. But it’s Christmas, so let’s give everybody their own opinion. I have mine, but I only want to focus on the fact we lost two points and we need to win the next game.”
On the penalty chance, Wenger was unbowed, saying: “I think it was a penalty, honestly. If I am wrong I apologise, but from outside it looked a penalty.
“Chelsea were well organised and defended well. We did not find our zippy movements but, overall, they were happy with a point, we were not. We could not take our few chances.”
On the Mikel challenge on Arteta, again Wenger erred on the side of caution.
“Honestly, I have to see it again,” he said, adding: “On the pitch it looked bad, but he referee was in a good position.
“I felt we were a bit edgy as we had conceded six goals at Man City, and it played a part in our head.
“We took control of the game in the second half, but we have to be strong enough to deal with that.”
Wenger will be looking to rest players over the coming festive programme, with a trip to West Ham up next on Boxing Day.
“I will have to rest everybody at some stage,” he admitted, though he was happy mot to make a substitution during the match.
He added: “The title race is tight but we need to find consistency. The players’ spirit is unbelievably focused. We will come out of our bad spell.
“If someone had told me that after the first game of the season against Aston Villa we would have been top of the league, I would have said you were mad, so let’s not go over board now [we are second].”