Johan Djourou brings down Fulham’s Clint Dempsey. The Arsenal player was sent off after two other incidents incurred the wrath of the refereeLONDON – Arsene Wenger blamed referee Lee Probert following Arsenal’s dramatic 2-1 defeat at Fulham and claimed his team had been unfairly denied penalties in four of its past five Premier League games.
And while Wenger was fuming, Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas declared his team was back in the title race following a last-gasp 2-1 victory against the Wolves.
Arsenal took the lead against Fulham through Laurent Koscielny but were forced to play the closing stages with 10 men after Johan Djourou’s dismissal, with Fulham taking advantage through goals from Steve Sidwell, a former Gunners midfielder, and Bobby Zamora in the final five minutes.
”The referee influenced the game completely the wrong way in my opinion,” Wenger said after the defeat that dropped his side into fifth place on the table.
”We cannot influence that . . . in the last 10 minutes, we lost the game because we were down to 10 men.”
Arsenal could have secured the points well before the late drama if Probert had awarded a penalty for Philippe Senderos’s trip on Gervinho in the 13th minute.
”I am surprised,” Wenger said. “You want the right decision.
”We had a penalty in the last game (against Queens Park Rangers), a clear handball. We had a penalty at Man City, we had a penalty at Villa Park.
Swiss defender Djourou’s first booking was for a slide on Mousa Dembele and his second, which led to an automatic dismissal, came when he fouled Zamora.
Meanwhile, Frank Lampard’s dramatic 89th-minute goal eased the pressure on Villas-Boas as Chelsea ended a four-game winless streak at Molineux.
Although still eight points off top spot, having played a match more than the two Manchester clubs, Villas-Boas backtracked on his previous suggestion his team was out of the title reckoning following a weekend of shocks at the summit.
”If we go on a winning streak of five or six games, which we are capable of, we can still be fighting for this league,” Villas-Boas said.
Elsewhere, Blackburn was brought down to earth following its away win against Manchester United at the weekend, suffering a 2-1 defeat to Stoke at Ewood Park as Peter Crouch scored twice for the visitors.
Aston Villa’s feelgood factor from their win at Chelsea was also shattered, with newly-promoted Swansea scoring a 2-0 win at Villa Park.
And at Loftus Road as the Rangers crashed to a 2-1 loss to Norwich, a defeat that edged Neil Warnock’s side closer to the relegation zone.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.