Arsene Wenger on Diaby’s sending off, Penalty decisions and Arsenal’s title aspirations

February 6, 2011

Arsenal let slip a four goal lead at St James’ Park after getting reduced to 10 men. In a game which was marred by some ridiculous decisions from the referee, Arsenal were the ones who suffered by dropping points.

Speaking after the match, Wenger explained how going down to 10 men affected the game as the team became defensive which resulted in inviting unneccessary pressure. He also added that Arsenal were very unlucky with some of the decisions.

Newcastle were awarded two soft penalties by the referee which changed the whole game. 

When asked about the penalty decisions, Wenger replied that he was surprised but how as not being the referee his opinion isn’t important as nothing can be changed now.

As for the sending off, Wenger admitted that it was completely unnecessary but also added that Barton was very lucky to stay on the pitch after his tackle on Diaby.

Abou Diaby was sent off for pushing Joey Barton in response to a leg breaking tackle made by Barton on him.

Regarding Arsenal’s title ambitions, Wenger concluded by saying how only the future will tell the effects of this game as psychologically it was very damaging.

Wenger, after the match, said:

“Certainly, more psychologically than on the footballing side. We were worried too much on protecting our lead after that because we were down to ten men. Instead of continuing to play, we invited pressure. Afterwards we were very unlucky with some decisions as well. I cannot do anything about that.

I was surprised by both decisions. But I am not the referee and I don’t think my opinion is very important now because we cannot come back and change it.

[It was a] completely unnecessary sending off and I believe Barton was very lucky to stay on the pitch [because of] his tackle on Diaby.

Mathematically two points, psychologically the damage is bigger tonight because everyone is very disappointed in the dressing room. Only the future will tell.”