Arsene Wenger hit out at the officials after Manchester City twice benefitted from questionable decisions as they beat Arsenal 3-1 at the Etihad.
Referee Michael Oliver incensed the Gunners when he pointed to the spot after Nacho Monreal took down Raheem Sterling in the box just after the break. A failure to flag David Silva in the build-up to Gabriel Jesus’ goal on 74 minutes caused further controversy coming, as it did, at a time when the visitors were pushing for an equaliser.
Speaking to Sky Sports after the game Wenger said: “I would say, overall, once again the referee made the decision today with a soft penalty and an offside goal. We are used to it. Last year we had two offside goals against us and now once again.
“I feel they don’t work enough. The referees don’t work enough, their levels drop every season at the moment. Overall, it’s unacceptable what happens.
“The physical level is very good, the decisions…the third goal, at 2-1 we are in the game, but he gives a clear offside goal. That kills the game for us. Last year, if you look back, we conceded two offside goals as well. Of course, they are a top team but that makes it even more difficult for you. The decisions were just wrong.
“I think we played quite well against a team that played at a high pace. They looked always dangerous on the counter-attack. We created many dangerous situations and overall, we did fight for the 90 minutes.
“In the first half we were too deep, in the second half we were more in the game. At 2-1 we looked like we might come back to 2-2. 3-1 was a killer.”
On the decision to play Francis Coquelin in the centre of defence, Wenger drew attention to the fact it allowed him to continue playing 3-5-2.
“We are used to playing that system for a long time and he gave us a defensive guarantee. Overall, it wasn’t our basic problem.
On City’s impressive form, Wenger added sarcastically: “They are a good side, the rest…I’ll leave that to the specialists, you have enough on television, super people who can analyse that better than I do.”