Arsene Wenger believes Tottenham Hotspur were lucky when it came to referee Mark Clattenburg's decisions during the north London derby which ended 1-1 on Sunday (6 November). The French manager criticised two decisions that went against his team during the game: the first was the penalty decision which allowed Spurs to level scores and the second was when he chose not to penalise Victor Wanyama for throwing an elbow at Theo Walcott.
Arsenal took the lead via an own goal from Spurs defender Kevin Wimmer just before the interval, but their lead lasted for just five minutes after the break when a foul by Laurent Koscielny on Mousa Dembele saw the referee point to the spot. Harry Kane stepped up and levelled the score with his fifth goal in four games against the Gunners.
Wenger feels that it was a harsh decision as it was not a deliberate foul and since it was at the edge of the box on the left side, the defender was not even impeding a direct goal scoring opportunity. Koscielny was not booked for his offence but it was deemed a foul worthy of a spot kick by the referee.
Wanyama, meanwhile, was not booked even once during the game despite numerous fouls and Wenger feels he should not have stayed on the pitch after he was caught on video elbowing Walcott in the first-half. However, Wenger refused to blame the referee's decisions for the final result admitting after the game that a lack of creativity from his team cost them the three points.
"The penalty was harsh. From where I sit, it looked harsh. It didn't look a deliberate foul or that he was dangerous to score. Even speaking to some referees, you can give it or not give it. As Arsenal manager, I wouldn't have given it," Wenger said, as quoted by the London Evening Standard.
"Wanyama was very lucky to stay on the pitch, of course. A few fouls, the elbow on Walcott for example. We have to cope with that. The referee makes the decisions. Still, nobody stopped us from scoring a second goal," the French coach added.