Fulham 2 Arsenal 1: Arsène Wenger fury over ‘joke’ red card

Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger claimed his side were made to pay for bad refereeing decisions as Fulham sealed a late win on Monday

Premier League, 2 January 2012, Craven Cottage
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Fulham
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Arsenal

Arsène Wenger labelled Johan Djourou’s red card during Arsenal’s defeat by Fulham “a joke” after Bobby Zamora struck in the final minute of stoppage time to snatch victory for the Cottagers.

The Gunners had taken a first-half lead when Laurent Koscielny nodded home Aaron Ramsey’s cross, before Djourou was given his marching orders by referee Lee Probert in the 78th minute for a second bookable offence.

Fulham then drew level through Steve Sidwell five minutes from time and Zamora turned home the winner in the 92nd minute.

“[The red card] was a joke,” Wenger told Sky Sports. “When Djourou got booked first they tried to get him a second yellow and the referee was naïve enough to give it. It should have been a foul to us.

“We missed many chances and had some bad decisions from the referee today. The two together made the difference.”

Wenger, whose side dropped to fifth in the table behind Chelsea on Monday, thought Arsenal should have had a penalty in the first half when Gervinho appeared to be brought down by ex-Gunner Philippe Senderos.

“I think it was 100 per cent a penalty on Gervinho from Senderos in the first half,” he continued. “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.”

Meanwhile, Fulham boss Martin Jol could not hide his delight after his side’s dramatic victory. “I am relieved after any game when we get the points on the board and against a top side like Arsenal,” he said.

“We did it before against Liverpool and Chelsea so we have some players with excellent quality who can make the difference as you saw.”

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