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Wenger rages at ref

Arsene Wenger, belying his reputation as cool, calm and collected, expressed his anger at the referee after Arsenal’s 2-1 defeat at Fulham.

Arsenal had been leading until the 85th minute. Two late goals by Fulham cost Wenger’s team the chance to move into the top four in the Premier League.

Wenger’s ire concerned the dismissal of Johan Djourou by referee Lee Probert. The Arsenal manager believed that Djourou should not have received a yellow card in the first half, and, in the incident leading up to the sending-off, Arsenal should have been awarded a free-kick.

"The referee influenced the game completely the wrong way in my opinion," Wenger said. "We had a good first half. In the second half we were more tired and in the last 10 minutes we lost the game because we were down to 10 men. The first yellow card was not a yellow card; the second yellow card was a foul for us. It was also 100% a penalty for us in the first half."

Wenger believes Fulham set out to get Djourou dismissed after he had been cautioned. "Their game was all about looking for the second yellow card for Djourou. The referee was naive enough to give it."

Fulham manager Martin Jol, not exactly a pal of Wenger’s after they developed a rivalry when Jol managed Tottenham, didn’t deny it. "I put Frei on the flank and he is an exciting player. He went one-versus-one all the time and that was probably the problem for Djourou."

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