Arsene Wenger believes the referee of the 2-2 Champions League draw between Arsenal and Schalke cost his side three points that would have left their chances of progression to the competition’s next stage looking a great deal healthier, the
Arsenal took a two-goal lead through Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud but were pegged back by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on the stroke of half-time, with Jefferson Farfan completing the comeback just after the hour. But Wenger was upset that referee Nicola Rizzoli gave a decision against Arsenal in the build-up to Schalke’s first goal, and felt the official made an error when he stopped play as Lukas Podolski beat the home side’s backline.
Wenger said: “There was a foul on Walcott and he gave a foul against Walcott. It is a foul from Afellay on Walcott, 100 per cent. 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 never seen that when you have a goal chance.”
The draw leaves Arsenal in second place in Group B, a point behind Schalke but one ahead of their final opponents Olympiakos. Before playing the Greek side in Athens Arsenal will host struggling Montpellier, while the tie in Gelsenkirchen leaves Schalke in the unusual position of topping the group despite failing to win either of their home games thus far, the only table-toppers without a victory on their own turf.
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