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Page last updated at 20:33 GMT, Saturday, 18 September 2010 21:33 UK

Arsene Wenger frustrated by stoppage time at Sunderland

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Wenger surprised by Arsenal penalty taker

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was frustrated by the timekeeping of the officials after Sunderland equalised in stoppage time to deny his side victory.

Darren Bent's goal came in the fifth minute of stoppage time when four minutes had been shown on the board.

"If you have a watch, you can control. It's as simple as that," said Wenger.

The Frenchman appeared to confront fourth official Martin Atkinson in protest, but he said later: "I complain to nobody, especially not you."

The Frenchman added: "It was outside the four minutes. I know the referee can give more than four, it's a minimum of four minutes.

"But in the four minutes nothing happened to justify the extension of the time. But I cannot do anything about that."

Wenger saw his side take the lead early in the first half when Cesc Fabregas's block on Anton Ferdinand's clearance sailed 40 yards, over the reach of 'keeper Simon Mignolet and into the net.

606: DEBATE

But luck then slowly began to run out for Arsenal, when first, Fabregas came off with an injury, followed by Alex Song's sending off and Tomas Rosicky's missed penalty which eventually culminated in Sunderland scoring their late, late equaliser.

Wenger was left bemused by the decision which led to the Czech midfielder taking the spot-kick.

"I didn't think Rosicky would take it, I thought it would be Samir Nasri," he said.

"I think Nasri chose not to take it because he was fouled. He gave the ball to Rosicky. That was tactically very important."

Draw feels like a win - Bruce

And on Song's red card: "The first yellow was harsh and second you can give or not give."

Despite the late change in fortunes, Wenger was satisfied with his side's efforts pointing to the fact they had travelled to Sunderland on the back of their Champions League victory against Braga.

"We played on Wednesday at a high tempo. Today we controlled the game in second half, even with 10 men," he added.

"It's difficult to play at a high level three days after a Champions League match. But overall, I'm happy with way we faced the game."

Meanwhile, Steve Bruce was delighted with his side's good fortune and praised goal hero Bent.

Bent happy to bag late equaliser

"Conceding late goals has happened to us repeatedly in the last 15 minutes - so it's jolly nice for it to happen to us," said the former Manchester United defender.

"You want one of those chances to fall to Benty and I thought he earned it because his work-rate was terrific. It's not easy on your own up front.

"We worked extremely hard to be what we were. They got a fluke of a goal but I thought our first-half performance was excellent and we've got our reward."



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Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 18 Sep 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 4 16 12
2 Arsenal 5 10 11
3 Man Utd 4 6 8
4 Tottenham 5 2 8
5 Newcastle 5 2 7
6 Fulham 5 1 7
7 Blackpool 4 0 7
8 Aston Villa 5 -3 7
9 West Brom 5 -4 7
10 Sunderland 5 0 6
11 Birmingham 5 -1 6
12 Bolton 5 -1 6
13 Man City 4 2 5
14 Blackburn 5 -1 5
15 Wolves 5 -2 5
16 Liverpool 4 -2 5
17 Stoke 5 -3 4
18 Wigan 4 -9 4
19 Everton 5 -3 2
20 West Ham 5 -10 1

see also
Sunderland 1-1 Arsenal
18 Sep 10 |  Premier League
Bent happy to bag late equaliser
18 Sep 10 |  Arsenal
Draw feels like a win - Bruce
18 Sep 10 |  Sunderland
Saturday football as it happened
18 Sep 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
18 Sep 10 |  Football


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