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Page last updated at 20:06 GMT, Saturday, 21 August 2010 21:06 UK

Ian Holloway brands Ian Evatt decision as 'ridiculous'

Ian Holloway
Blackpool boss Ian Holloway was left exasperated by events at the Emirates Stadium

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway branded referee Mike Jones' dismissal of defender Ian Evatt in their heavy defeat by Arsenal as "ridiculous".

Arsenal had taken an early lead when Marouane Chamakh, bearing down on goal, was felled by last man Evatt.

After Evatt was shown a straight red card Arsenal went on to win 6-0.

"I thought it was a penalty at best but then to send him off was ridiculous - it absolutely ruined the game as a spectacle," said Holloway.

There was some doubt as to whether the offence occurred inside the box, but Andrey Arshavin slotted home the resulting spot kick.

From there, Arsenal completely overran the Premier League newcomers, laying siege to Matthew Gilks' goal.

After the red card, it was then damage limitation - and they damaged us all the way to the end

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway

Walcott went on to claim a hat-trick, while Abou Diaby also scored before Chamakh completed the rout.

It was a performance that left Holloway full of admiration for Arsenal, his frustration about the manner of Evatt's departure notwithstanding.

"We'd probably have been beaten anyway," Holloway added. "Arsenal are a team full of fantastic players.

"The way they try and play, pass and move is an education. Some of the football Arsenal played was world class, and they could have scored more.

"After the red card, it was then damage limitation - and they damaged us all the way to the end.

"It's a long, hard road but our lads have to get up and get on with it. It's a joy for us to be here - we'll have to take a few humblings but I'm not that disappointed, to be honest."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger conceded that the penalty was perhaps harsh on Blackpool, but was thrilled by the win, and by Walcott's performance in particular.

"I thought the Evatt challenge was outside the box, but it was difficult to see from the bench and I will have to look at it again," said Wenger.

"The decision is harsh, but the referee has no choice once he gives a penalty for denying a goal-scoring chance.


"What was pleasing today with Theo was that he made the right decisions in the final third and was calm in front of goal. He could finish, but also give final balls. That shows he improves."

Wenger, who has been linked with possible moves for France and Sevilla centre-half Sebastien Squillaci and Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, was more circumspect on the subject of new arrivals.

He added: "We have nothing to announce today or tomorrow, but we'll see if we can make another defensive addition next week. We're not close to doing anything at the moment."

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see also
Arsenal 6-0 Blackpool
21 Aug 10 |  Premier League
Saturday football as it happened
21 Aug 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
21 Aug 10 |  Premier League

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