Wenger blasts referee Gallagher the 'Homer'

Last updated : 03 February 2004 By Chris Parry

He said: "I don't think we deserved to lose. When we went down to 10 men, we were running the game and I feel the referee missed - and everybody saw the evidence - a penalty at an important moment in the game.

"I think should we have scored that penalty, we would have this won the game.

"I can say that the players have given absolutely everything and tried really to win the game, and that's very positive for the rest of the season. We know at half-time that it would be difficult in the second half with 10 men, but I think we were close to making it if circumstances had turned a little bit in our favour.

"I feel as well that they cut our fluency down in the second half with fouls, a lot of professional fouls, and I found that very unfair.

"But the referee didn't intervene at all and it was the same players who repeatedly made the professional fouls in the middle of the park when they were caught, and every time, they get back with 11 against 10, and the referee not reacting. I found it very difficult to accept."

He did however concede that the sending off of Martin Keown was wholly justified, saying: "It was a complete, 100% sending-off," he said. "It was a straight red card - I knew from the outside that the referee had no choice. He made the right decision."