Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has criticised the referee for not handing Arsenal a penalty after Willian clattered Theo Walcott in the Chelsea penalty box.
Under testing weather conditions, both teams played out a drab 0-0 draw which has taken Arsenal back to second, level on points with league leaders Liverpool, but trailing on goal difference. Arsenal were not at their best, with their first shot on target coming as late as the 82nd minute when Olivier Giroud had a shot blocked by Pete Cech from close range. Referee Mike Dean was called into action three times in the game but on all the occasions the referee sided with the Blues, much to the chagrin of Wenger.
A tackle by John Obi Mikel on Mikel Arteta was waived away by Dean in what looked like a dangerous challenge on the Spaniard, who was lucky to come out unscathed. Another studs up challenge by Ramires on Arteta in the second half was penalised with only a yellow card. The penalty decision, which was not given, saw Willian take Walcott off his feet but the challenge failed to convince Dean, who asked Walcott to carry on.
"I think it was a penalty, honestly. If I am wrong I apologise but from outside it looked a penalty. I haven't seen it on video. Chelsea defended well, they were well-organised and we didn't find our zippy movements to play through the lines as we can do. But I think in the second half there was room to win the game. Overall they were happy with a point, we were not happy with a point, but we couldn't take the few chances we created," Wenger told www.arsenal.com when asked about the penalty.
Wenger was also critical of Giroud who missed a couple of chances later in the game and hinted that he will be rested in favour of Lukas Podolski or Nicklas Bendtner in the upcoming games.
"The three games he played in six days had a big weight in our recent results, but since then we had nine days when we could recover and I think tonight he was not tired. I will have to rest everybody at some stage. Bendtner or somebody else [will have to start at some stage]," he concluded.