Arsene Wenger has criticised the rough treatment handed out to Jack Wilshere in Saturday’s 1-0 win over Sunderland, reports the
Wilshere was forced off after 50 minutes, with the Gunners leading 1-0, after a collision with Sunderland player Alfred N’Diaye, but Wenger was critical of Sunderland’s players for a number of challenges on the England midfielder prior. And whilst Wenger didn’t believe Wilshere was targeted by the Black Cats, he did feel that referee Anthony Taylor was too easy on Sunderland’s players. “I was a bit frustrated because I thought many times, Jack didn’t get the free-kick he deserved. The referee let two of three things go that I thought were fouls on Jack.”
Wenger refused to lay the blame squarely at the feet of Taylor, later saying that the referee “is not a bodyguard”, but felt that his players should’ve been given more free kicks that they got. “I just want the referee to give a foul when it’s a foul. I don’t want any special protection.”
The win moves Arsenal above Everton into 5th, with the Toffee’s playing Manchester United late on Sunday. Santi Cazorla’s goal on 37 minutes was enough for Arsenal to see off Sunderland, despite having Carl Jenkinson sent off early in the 2nd half. But Wenger took a lot of positives from the result, going on to say: “It was tight in the end, but it was a game with a high level of intensity where we have shown some brilliance going forward, but unfortunately, we couldn’t score the second goal.”
“Then we had to show another side in the second half, especially in the last 20 minutes, down to 10 men, we needed to be resilient, committed and deal with everything they offered us.”
The result is a good start to a tough fortnight for Arsenal, who face an FA Cup tie next weekend against Blackburn, followed by the Champions League tie with Bayern Munich.
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