Football

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Wenger vents fury over added time

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Arsene Wenger was left fuming as 10-man Arsenal conceded an injury-time equaliser at Sunderland.

The angry Frenchman vented his frustration on fourth official Martin Atkinson after Darren Bent levelled in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

However, asked afterwards about a suggestion that he had put his hands on Atkinson, Wenger replied: "Take the pictures and look at it. I complain to nobody, especially not to you."

Wenger's mood was perhaps understandable after his side emerged from a fixture in which the three points appeared to be there for the taking with just one.

They looked to have seen the game out despite playing for the last 35 minutes with 10 men following Alex Song's dismissal for a second bookable offence. They were leading 1-0 courtesy of skipper Cesc Fabregas' 13th-minute strike, although how much the Spaniard knew about it was a matter for debate.

He closed down Anton Ferdinand as the defender prepared to clear and saw the ball loop up off him and over keeper Simon Mignolet into the net. Fabregas' fortunes changed dramatically when he limped off the field with a hamstring injury 16 minutes later, and his mood will not have been improved by what followed.

Song's premature departure was disappointing enough, but it was compounded by substitute Tomas Rosicky's spectacular 74th-minute penalty miss after Samir Nasri had been tripped by Ahmed Elmohamady.

Arsenal were made to pay at the death when Bent found himself in the right place at the right time to smash home the equaliser from close range.

Asked about the amount of added time played, Wenger said cryptically: "If you have a watch, you can control. It's as simple as that. I believe the performance was good. We had problems to start in the first half.

"In the second half, we played very well. We were, even with 10 men, in control of the game and unfortunately in the 95th minute, they equalised. I was very pleased. We could battle, we could play, we had all the ingredients of a good team. We had a slow start, but in the second half, we did well."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Sunderland
Ahmed Elmohamady
Simon Mignolet
Football
Anton Ferdinand
Premier League
Alex
Tomas Rosicky
Darren Bent
Samir Nasri

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