Arsene Wenger blasted referee Martin Atkinson after Arsenal’s 2-1 loss at Manchester City on Sunday, saying both City goals should have been disallowed for offside.
Arsenal took an early lead through Theo Walcott but wilted in the second half as Leroy Sane equalised and Raheem Sterling netted the winner in the 71st minute.
Replays showed Sane may have been offside when he ran on to a pass from David Silva, while Wenger also claimed Silva impeded Petr Cech when he ran in front of him in an offside position as Sterling beat the goalkeeper at his near post.
However, replays showed Silva was not in Cech’s direct line of sight, and Atkinson allowed both goals to stand.
“The two goals are offside goals, and a game of that stature I feel enough is enough for us because we’ve got some bad decisions for the whole season,” Wenger told Sky Sports.
“But what can I do — we have to live with that and look at ourselves and analyse why we lost the game.”
Cech said he had been more impeded by his own defenders, who were in front of Sterling as he took aim.
“I have to say that there were players in front of the ball so I didn’t see even the shot,” Cech told Sky Sports.
“I have to say, to be honest, there were people running across and I don’t know whether one of them was David Silva or not, but I didn’t see the ball because it was behind the players and obviously my reaction was late.”
It was the second time in five days Arsenal had lost after leading 1-0 — they also went down 2-1 at Everton — and the loss leaves them nine points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea.
It wraps up a week that started with the Gunners drawing Bayern Munich in the Champions League knockout stages and ended with a big setback in the Premier League title race.
“It’s a horrible week,” Wenger said. “But it’s part of the season as well, and unfortunately what is horrible is that I think on our schedule we knew it was a difficult week, because we had a Champions League game before that.
“But I think we were in control in every game, we were 1-0 up in both games and that’s very difficult. But the mentality is strong and we have to respond now.”
Wenger also rejected the theory that Arsenal’s players had struggled mentally after City’s equaliser, and said their poor performance in the second half was down to tired legs.
“It’s more physical I think, because we dropped a little bit physically in the second half. You could see when we won the ball, it didn’t come out quickly enough any more and that allowed them to press us more and to win balls back,” he said.
“And we lost many more balls than in the first half. I feel we dropped in the second half. You could see today physically in the second half it was a bit more difficult.”