Goals were not controversial, insists Wenger

LONDON • Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger dismissed the notion that his side defeated rivals Tottenham by two controversial goals in the Premier League yesterday, after the Gunners won the heated north London derby 2-0.

"I don't know where the referee's decisions went for us. I haven't seen the offsides - the foul was a foul. I can give you plenty of games where we have had bad luck," the Frenchman told Sky Sports after the game.

"We play in the Premier League and people want to go to different conclusions. Nothing is permanent in our job."

Arsenal ended a six-match winless run against Spurs, thanks to a pair of fiercely debated first-half goals at the Emirates Stadium.

Tottenham were furious that referee Mike Dean awarded a free kick for Davinson Sanchez's challenge on Alexis Sanchez. Their indignation grew louder when, from the resulting set-piece, Shkodran Mustafi headed Arsenal's opener from what the visitors claimed was an offside position.

Mauricio Pochettino's men felt hard done by again when Sanchez doubled Arsenal's lead by converting a pass from Alexandre Lacazette, who looked offside in the build-up to the goal.

Pochettino blamed the "small details" for his side's defeat, implying that Spurs were punished by the decisions that went against them.

"It was an even game in terms of shots on target, off target, possession. I am only disappointed because the effort was massive from the team," the Argentinian told Sky Sports.

"It is obvious you saw what happened in the game and the small details were against us, it makes it difficult to win.

"The free kick for the first goal and the first goal was obvious offside, maybe the second was too.

"When you play against a team in the top six, the big details are up to you, sometimes things go against you but that is football.

"I do not need to say anything, it was obvious for everyone here and watching at home.

"It is not easy to accept because we lost the game but we have to move on and keep going."


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 19, 2017, with the headline 'Goals were not controversial, insists Wenger'. Print Edition | Subscribe