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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 February 2007, 18:54 GMT
We lost our cool, admits Wenger
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (right) tries to break up the brawl
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger (right) tries to break up the brawl
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was disappointed his side lost their cool in the closing stages of their 2-1 Carling Cup final defeat by Chelsea.

Three players were sent off as the game ended in a mass brawl.

Wenger said: "It suddenly exploded. It was strange as it didn't reflect the quality of the game.

"Suddenly we lost it and they lost it as well and it became a brawl. I'm not sure the referee picked the right ones out but he made a decision."

Chelsea's Mikel Jon Obi and Arsenal's stand-in skipper Kolo Toure were sent off after initially clashing, while Emmanuel Adebayor was also dismissed for getting involved in the fracas.

Wenger and Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho both left the dug-out to try to restore calm among their players.

We came to win and it was difficult to take but we can be very proud

Arsene Wenger
And Frenchman Wenger added: "I don't think you should ever lose your calm. You should always keep under control.

"Kolo is usually very calm but he was pulled down and the ball was kicked away.

"I felt the referee was not the cause of the incident, of course it was the players, but he was a bit slow to give it.

"Overall we can only look at ourselves and next time not lose our nerves."

But Wenger was full of praise for the way his young side took the game to the Premiership champions before losing to a late Didier Drogba header.


He stated: "I'm very proud of the performance of my team.

"For long periods we were the better team but the regrets we have are that we should have put that game beyond Chelsea.

"In the first half we missed the final ball a few times and I feel in the second half the first to score would win the game and it was them.

"They had a bit more experience and Drogba made the difference. We played exceptionally well and showed great quality but you want the team to be very forceful and take advantage of every chance and I felt we didn't do that.

"I believe we were unlucky with some decisions from the referee. Their first goal was offside and Adebayor was clean through and not offside and in a game of that importance you cannot afford that.

"We came to win and it was difficult to take but we can be very proud."

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