Arsenal manager Arsenal Wenger was devastated to fall to defeat against Fulham as The Gunners' year began in the worst possible fashion.
Laurent Koscielny's header gave the visitors a deserved half-time lead, but following Johan Djourou's dismissal Steve Sidwell and Bobby Zamora struck late for The Whites.
Wenger saw several decisions, including referee Lee Probert's refusal to award a penalty after a first-half trip on Gervinho by Philippe Senderos, go against his side, decisions he felt swayed the result.
"I think it was 100 per cent a penalty on Gervinho from Senderos in the first half," he said.
"The referee had a massive influence on the game like that. We have played many games recently where if it had gone our way we would not have been in trouble and would have stayed with 11 on the pitch.
"You want the right decisions in a game of that importance. But I do not want to speak about that anymore. We had the chances to kill the game off before that and to win.
"I think it's very unlucky for us to lose the game with 10 men. When you see the game today that we finished with 10 men, it's very difficult to take.
"That makes a massive difference when you have played 48 hours before. It's too difficult."
The result leaves Arsenal fifth, a point behind Chelsea and nine adrift of Manchester City and Manchester United at the top, as their title challenge continues to dwindle.
"There was too much at stake in the game today, we needed absolutely everything to go for us, to be right," Wenger added.
"We are guilty because we still gave two goals away, I felt, in a stupid way and we didn't take our chances. Nothing went for us from the referee today, nothing at all. We cannot change that and we have to live with it unfortunately."