Arsenal vs Chelsea: Arsene Wenger labels Anthony Taylor’s penalty decision ‘farcical’
Arsene Wenger criticised referee Anthony Taylor’s “farcical” decision to award Chelsea a penalty in Arsenal’s trilling 2-2 draw with the champions.
Chelsea were handed a route back into the game four minutes after Jack Wilshere’s 63rd-minute opener when Hector Bellerin was penalised for a foul on Eden Hazard.
Hazard dusted himself down to convert the spot-kick, but that was not the end of the drama at the Emirates as Bellerin rescued a point for the Gunners in stoppage-time after Marcos Alonso looked to have won it for Chelsea.
Wenger was left rejoicing after the thrilling finale, but his overriding emotion was one of disappointment after his side were on the receiving end of another contentious decision.
“It was a fantastic football game,” he told Sky Sports. “Overall I believe it could have gone both ways, the regret we have is that we were first on the scoring sheet.
“After that, we got again a farcical decision and mentally we were shocked. Then we could have lost the game but we had the resources to come back, and in the end maybe it’s a fair result.
“When you come here you see football, and unfortunately the games are always spoiled by factors you can’t master.
“We can only continue to play the way we want to play, and hope at one stage things will go for us.”
Asked whether he thought Taylor’s decision was worse than the penalty Mike Dean gave in Arsenal’s 1-1 draw with West Brom three days prior, Wenger added: “Worse or not worse, we know what we get.
“Look since the start of the season, it is what we have to take. We have to take it and to fight, but we cannot influence that.
“You ask me if it’s a penalty, I say it’s a farcical decision. You could give 10 penalties like that per game.
“You decide what you want. Anyway, read the foreign papers what they write about that, and then look after at the English papers, you will see the difference.”
Thierry Henry insists Hector Bellerin’s foul on Eden Hazard was a Chelsea penalty
Thierry Henry insists Hector Bellerin’s foul on Eden Hazard was a Chelsea penalty in the 2-2 draw between Arsenal and the Blues on Wednesday night.
The Gunners full-back clipped Hazard’s foot in the area, just minutes after Jack Wilshere had given the Gunners the lead.
The Belgian slotted the ball home from 12 yards and Henry believes referee Anthony Taylor was right to point to the spot.
Fellow pundit Gary Neville, who earned himself a reputation as a top-level full-back during a long career with Manchester United, disagreed.
“That’s not a penalty,” he argued. “It’s a naïve kick and Hazard is always going to go down. It’s soft, but he certainly doesn’t catch the shin that he’s holding.”
“He’s always very quick in the box,” Bellerin admitted. “I saw the ball in the air and I tried to challenge for it. We both went for the ball at the same time and the referee thought it was a penalty, so we’ll have to see the replay.”
Hazard, meanwhile, responded: “We don’t need a replay, yes it’s a penalty.”
A share of the points mean that Chelsea remain third, one mark behind Man Utd, while Arsenal are sixth – five points shy of the top four.