Ref Probert earns Wenger’s wrath

The Gunners looked set for a fifth victory in six away Premier

League matches until the home side’s late comeback at Craven

Cottage. Steve Sidwell and Bobby Zamora netted in the final minutes

of the match to secure Fulham a 2-1 win, with the catalyst

seemingly Johan Djourou’s red card for a second bookable offence 12

minutes before time. Wenger was furious after the match, arguing

that neither of Djourou’s challenges were worthy of a yellow card

and that his side should have been awarded a penalty for Philippe

Senderos’ first-half challenge on Gervinho. “The referee influenced

the game in completely the wrong way, in my opinion,” Wenger said.

“We cannot influence that. “We had a good first half and in the

second half we were tired in the last 10 minutes. We lost the game

because we were down to 10 men. “The first yellow card was not a

yellow card. The second yellow card was a foul for us. “There was a

100% penalty for us in the first half and that is that, plus the

fact we did not take our chances in the first half made the

difference. “In the end I think it was very unlucky to lose a game

with 10 men. “When you see that we finished the game with 10 men it

is very difficult to take and that makes a massive difference when

you played 48 hours before. It is too difficult.” Wenger also

apportioned some blame on Fulham, whom he claimed had attempted to

get Djourou sent off. “When Djourou got the first card, every time

he intervened they went down to get him a second yellow and he did

nothing at all,” he added. “I saw it coming, you know. When they

brought on [Kerim] Frei they looked for a second yellow card on

Djourou and they got it.” He added: “I do not need to make stories

for newspapers. I tell you the game I have seen. I don’t care about

the rest. “I just felt that every time Djourou was on the fringe to

get the second. You can watch the game [again].” Fulham boss Martin

Jol laughed off Wenger’s comments. “Maybe he could accuse me of

trying to do something, but I don’t think players can do that,” he

said. “The only thing I did was put Kerim Frei on the flank and he

is an exciting player. “He wanted to go one-v-one all the time and

that was probably the problem for Djourou. “He probably could have

had a second booking before that, to be fair.” While Arsenal felt

aggrieved after the match, defeat would have been cruel on Fulham

after a spirited performance. “I am relieved after any game when we

get the points on the board and against a top side like Arsenal,”

Jol said. “We did it before against Liverpool and Chelsea so we

have some players with excellent quality who can make the

difference as you saw. “We didn’t play particularly well in the

first 25 minutes. “We played a bit differently in central midfield,

we tried to screen and play zonally. “After that we matched them up

in midfield and that gave them a problem.” Jol was quick to praise

Zamora’s part in the performance after the match, having recovered

from an Achilles problem to volley home the winner. The pair’s

relationship has come under scrutiny over recent months but Jol was

pleased to see him hit the headlines for the right reasons. “It’s

always the same,” the Dutchman said. “If you are number nine at any

club and can make the difference, I’m very happy. “I love my

players, especially when they score goals. “He had problems with

his Achilles and ankle and couldn’t travel with us recently. “You

have to play another player, and [Orlando] Sa scored which was

good. “We did the same for this game and he said he could play so

he plays because he is my main striker.”