Wenger, Guardiola disagree over referee’s influence at Etihad

Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger (L) speaks to fourth official Andre Marriner after they concede their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Arsenal at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 5, 2017. Oli SCARFF / AFP

Man City, Chelsea, Everton win

The referee decided Manchester City’s defeat of Arsenal, according to Arsene Wenger, though the Gunners boss is not surprised any more.

He believes teams visit the Etihad Stadium these days expecting bad officiating, having also seen Arsenal lose to City last season courtesy of two offside goals.

Yesterday, Gabriel Jesus netted the questionable strike to restore the hosts’ two-goal lead when it appeared more likely Arsenal would grab an equaliser.

Kevin De Bruyne had earlier handed City the lead, before Sergio Aguero netted from the penalty spot to make it 2-0. Alexandre Lacazette halved the deficit, but Jesus’ strike secured for the hosts’ all three points.

Not only was Jesus’ goal debatable – as assister David Silva appeared to be in an offside position when he was played the ball – but Aguero’s penalty also came after a rather light, but admittedly clumsy, foul on Raheem Sterling by Nacho Monreal.

Wenger praised Manchester City, but highlighted the impact the referee had at the Etihad.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “It was an intense game with quality on both sides. They were good on the counter attack, and every time we lost the ball they looked dangerous.

“But overall, I feel we were in the game. At 2-1 we were in the game and the referee made the difference today.

“It was two bad decisions, but we are used [to it] as when you come to Manchester City that’s what you get – an offside goal.

“Last year two, this year one – so we are improving.”

Speaking about the penalty decision, Wenger added: “He looked for the penalty. You can see he saw it coming. But that’s it, what can you do? I don’t agree with the referee.”

Manchester City news: Pep Guardiola insists poor decisions weren’t the difference in Arsenal win Guardiola, however, disagrees with Wenger, saying the superior team claimed the three points.

Guardiola said: “No. We won in the best way and we deserved by far the victory.

Sometimes it’s like this (but what’s) important is the performance. We want to try to play and we did it really well.”

In the other games yesterday, Chelsea dominated a clumsy Manchester United, but had only Morata’s second half goal to show for their superior play at Stamford Bridge.

The former Real Madrid man escaped the attentions of United’s three central defenders – Eric Bailly, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones – to meet Cesar Azpilicueta’s cross with an immaculate header and secure all three points for Antonio Conte’s side.

Chelsea, who have now lost just once to United at Stamford Bridge in 16 league games, remain in fourth place, but are just a point behind their beaten opponents and Tottenham.

Tom Cleverley missed a 101st-minute penalty after Everton sensationally rallied from two goals down to end their horror form with a rollercoaster 3-2 win over Watford at Goodison Park.

Trailing 2-0 to a pair of second-half goals, Everton battled from behind and dramatically piled on three match-turning goals to move out of the relegation zone with a first victory in five Premier League matches.

Their incredible fightback almost took a heartbreaking twist when Watford were awarded a spot-kick in the 11th added minute, injuries to Heurelho Gomes and Christian Kabasele causing lengthy stoppages, but Cleverley drilled his spot-kick wide as the Toffees escaped with a potentially season-turning triumph.



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