Eduardo penalty dive overshadows Gunners victory over Celtic
Arsene Wenger stopped short of admitting Eduardo dived for a penalty as Arsenal easily overcame Celtic 3-1 on Wednesday to progress to the Champions League group stages. The Croatia striker was awarded a spot kick after he went down under Celtic goalkeep
Arsene Wenger stopped short of admitting Eduardo dived for a penalty as Arsenal easily overcame Celtic 3-1 on Wednesday to progress to the Champions League group stages.
The Croatia striker was awarded a spot kick after he went down under Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc's challenge, but replays suggested referee Manuel Gonzalez got it wrong.
Boruc was furious with the decision but Eduardo fired home the penalty before second half strikes from Emmanuel Eboue and Andrei Arshavin destroyed the Scottish Premier League side, who grabbed a consolation in injury time through Massimo Donati's athletic volley.
"When I first saw it I thought it was a penalty but having seen it on the replay I don't think it was," Wenger admitted, when asked about the 28th minute penalty decision.
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"I've never asked a guy to dive to get a penalty but sometimes a player goes down because there is no way to escape a goalkeeper.
"I do not want a penalty which is not a penalty, but I do not go as far to say Eduardo dived. He went down, for what reason I do not know..."
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Wenger appeared angry that incident dominated the headlines after his side has dominated the Hoops.
He added: "We got a penalty against us two years ago in the quarter-final of the Champions League at Liverpool that made the difference when [Ryan] Babel
dived, nobody ever apologised to us, it was a blatant dive and nobody spoke about it."
But he had a few words of encouragement for the losers, who now go into the Europa League.
"Celtic in the two games were well organised and did show some great mental qualities," he said.
"They never gave up at any moment ... for me, they are a good side."
Celtic manager Tony Mowbray was gracious in defeat.
"The first goal was always going to be crucial. If we had got it, you would have had a more interesting spectacle," he said.
"That is the way it panned out, but I could not question the desire and effort of my team. You cannot deny that over the two legs, Arsenal had more quality and
deserved to go through.