Date: 19th December 2016 at 12:28am
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Manager Arsene Wenger goes into Christmas 2016 hoping Santa brings him a competent referee for the second half of the campaign following defeat to Manchester City.

Making the trip to the Eithad Stadium for Sunday’s Premier League action against Pep Guardiola’s side, Arsenal came out of the game with a two one defeat and Wenger was again left to bemoan shoddy refereeing decisions and the fact we couldn’t keep a clean sheet in the game.

Having taken the early first half lead through Theo Walcott on five minutes, Arsenal couldn’t add to their advantage and City hit back with two goals in the second half to take all three points.

Speaking to the BBC in his post game press conference an infuriated Wenger explained that whilst he’d like referee’s to be protected from criticism like ‘lion’s in a zoo’ as they are in the modern game by the authorities, if anybody could ensure they made the right decisions that would certainly be welcomed.

With both goals arguably offside on the day from the hosts, Wenger said.

‘It’s very difficult to accept in a game of that stature. But, as it is well known, the referees are protected very well like the lions in the zoo, so we have to live with those decisions.’

Leroy Sane’s leveller was a clear error by the linesman, although granted David Silva being offside for the second goal but the debate then being did he hinder Petr Cech, Wenger was asked to clarify his comments and he said.

‘I want them to be very well protected, and I want them to be safe, but if they could make the right decisions it would be even better. I can understand City look very happy – I would be as well – but I think the goals are offside.’

With Arsenal now having back to back victories in the last six days and slipping to fourth place in the table, two behind Manchester City Wenger went on to say that with Everton refereeing errors as well it had been a poor week for officials and unfortunately we were on the end of it.

All we can do is take six points from West Bromwich Albion on Boxing Day and then Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day to play catch up.

‘It has been an absolutely horrible week. What is worse is that out of two good performances we got zero points and, out of two leading positions, we lost two games. That of course is very disappointing. Before we think about being nine points behind Chelsea, we have to think about why we have not kept a clean sheet.’

As for the game itself he felt we were nicely in control and didn’t look like relinquishing the lead and that just added to his frustration.

‘I felt we were in control before half-time and it did not look like we could lose the game. We were caught cold in the second half but I felt as well that we dropped physically in the second half. I think that is because of the accumulation of games we have played recently, especially away from home – four of the last five have been away. We also had one day less recovery than everyone else before we played at Everton. I felt there was plenty of big teams who don’t play in Europe who could have played on Tuesday.’

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