Wenger cries foul play
Arsenal manager infuriated by 'anti-football' tactics of United.
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2009 14:10 GMT

Referee Mike Dean gives Arsene Wenger his marching orders during the game [GALLO/GETTY]
Arsene Wenger has accused Manchester United of using "anti-football" tactics during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at Old Trafford in the English Premier League match on Saturday.

The Frenchman said deliberate fouling was more harmful to the game than the alleged dive by Arsenal striker Eduardo da Silva which is being investigated by Uefa.

Eduardo was scrutinised after last week's Champions League qualifying victory over Celtic, having allegedly dived to win a penalty which he then scored to set up a 3-1 Arsenal victory.

"I have seen a player who plays on the pitch only to make fouls.

"For me, this is a point that is more urgent than diving," British media reported Wenger as saying.


"The players who are never punished, who get out of the game without a yellow card. I think it is more anti-football than a player who did what Eduardo did," Wenger said.

"Look at how many deliberate fouls some players get away with. That's a bigger problem because it cuts the flow of the game.

"And people pay to see football, not free kicks."

United inflicted a first defeat of the season on Wenger's side after two second-half goals cancelled out Andrei Arshavin's strike.

In a competitive match, six yellow cards were shown to Arsenal players and three to United.

The game ended with Wenger being dismissed for kicking a water bottle, a decision the Premier League referees' body later acknowledged was an error.

Wenger is to receive an apology.

Wenger takes his place among the United fans [GALLO/GETTY]
Marching orders

Wenger was sent to the stands when fourth official Lee Probert called over referee Mike Dean after the Arsenal manager kicked the bottle after Arsenal were denied a late equaliser for offside.

But the decision provoked a ludicrous situation when Wenger found himself with nowhere to go, briefly standing on a platform with his arms raised asking the referee where he wanted him to stand.

The farce ended seconds later when the referee blew the final whistle.

According to reports in British media Wenger will receive an apology from the Premier Game Match Officials Board which authorises officials to officiate top-flight games in England.

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