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Wenger incensed by referee Dean

Wenger hits out at 'unacceptable' decision

Arsene Wenger believes referee Mike Dean made a "massive wrong decision" when he disallowed an Arsenal goal in the 0-0 draw away at Tottenham.

Emmanuel Eboue thought he had scored in the 13th minute, but Dean had already blown for a foul on Jonathan Woodgate.

The Gunners midfielder was later sent off, but Wenger was more incensed with the decision to deny his side a goal.

"The goal we scored is completely normal, how can you cancel a goal like that?" the Frenchman told BBC Sport.

"It's just not acceptable, this kind of decision. He must have seen a clear-cut foul to cancel a goal like that.

"I would like our opponents to have goals cancelled like that when they play at the Emirates."

Eboue was also bemused as to why Dean chalked off his strike.

"It was a goal," the 25-year-old said. "I don't know why he did not give it. The referee said I touched Woodgate but I did not."

Eboue also apologised to his team-mates for his dismissal, although he felt his first booking was harsh.

I'm very angry today, I am pleased with my team, but very angry with the decision of the referee to cancel a goal like that.

Arsene Wenger
"For the first yellow card I did not say anything bad," he added. "I am sorry. This game was very, very important for us. We must always win when we play against Tottenham and give our best for the fans.

"I am so disappointed to get the red card but I say thank you to my team-mates who gave everything. We drew and we are happy. It is a good point for us after playing so long with 11 v 10.

"For the second booking I touched him. I put my leg up because [Modric] had touched me before in front of the referee and he did not say anything.

"He kicked me when I tried to go forward and I put my leg up. The second card is normal, I accept it. But for me the referee was not good today."

Wenger also questioned whether the first yellow card was justified and said he did not see the incident that led to the second booking.

He did, however, admit that if the Ivory Coast international did aim a kick at the Tottenham midfielder then he deserved to be shown a yellow card.

"We dealt well with the situation even if it was of course a big handicap for us," added Wenger.

"I believe that the first yellow card was very harsh. You have players who make 15 fouls in the game but don't get a yellow card.

"What he did was clumsy but the first yellow card was very hard. The second one, I haven't seen.

"They have told me that he has retaliated, if he has retaliated then he deserves a yellow and a red card. It doesn't matter who saw it. If someone saw it for real then he deserves to be sent off.

"We deal with our problems internally. The newspapers never help us to sort out problems out."

Wenger was pleased with his side's resilience as they held on for a point with 10 men and said they could have gone on to claim all three.

"We dealt with the sending off well and faced that situation in a very committed and a very resilient way.

"I don't believe Tottenham created too many chances and if you look at the clear-cut chances in the game, then we are well ahead of Tottenham.

"I'm very angry, I am pleased with my team, but very angry with the decision of the referee to cancel a goal like that."

Redknapp encouraged by Spurs display

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp said he was happy with his side's performance but highlighted their inability to convert some good chances to win the game.

"Aaron [Lennon] hit one great cross where Robbie [Keane] should have scored but he headed over," said Redknapp.

"Adel [Taarabt] has stuck Luka Modric in at the end - it was a terrific, well-weighted pass - Luka should have finished the game for us in the last minute.

"But overall I was pleased with the performance. I was pleased with the way we played, pleased with the contribution of people like Wilson Palacios.

"Overall, the keeper did well to keep a clean sheet. We would have loved to won but it wasn't to be."

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see also
Tottenham 0-0 Arsenal
08 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Premier League as it happened
08 Feb 09 |  Premier League
Sunday's football photos
08 Feb 09 |  Football
Player Rater
19 Dec 06 |  Live Text

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