Arsene Wenger says official cost Arsenal victory

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Football News

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was furious with the referee after the Gunners’ 2-2 Champions League group stage draw with Schalke.

The French tactician felt Nicola Rizzoli made crucial mistakes that stopped his side from taking all three points back to Emirates Stadium on what was a tough night for the Premier League side.

Wenger felt that the Italian denied Lukas Podolski a clear opportunity when in behind the Germans’ defence.

Rizzoli stopped the game to allow treatment to defender Marco Hoger, even though he had been down before the chance was presented and was not down because of a head injury.

Wenger also claimed Walcott had been fouled in the lead up to Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s goal just before half time, though the England international was penalised.

“There was a foul on Walcott and he gave a foul against Walcott. It is a foul from Afellay on Walcott, 100 per cent,” he said after the game.

“There was another decision that was amazing, the first time I've seen anything like that, to stop the game when a player has rolled over on his ankle. I have never seen that when you have a goal chance.”

Arsenal were looking comfortable in their two-goal advantage going into the break, having overcome an uncertain start, and some of the confidence that has been lacking in recent weeks appreared to be returning.

The goal just before half time meant Schalke came out for the second period with much greater resolve, and it was no great surprise when Jefferson Farfan was left unmarked at the far post to slam in off of Thomas Vermaelen.

Goals from Walcott and Olivier Giroud has given the Gunners their lead and, although the home side missed one or two gilt-edged chances, the former of the two fluffed his lines at the death to secure the win with only the goalkeeper to beat.

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Thomas Vermaelen
UEFA Champions League

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