Arsenal midfielder Mikel Arteta has defended team-mate Santi Cazorla from accusations of diving following the winger's controversial role in Saturday's 2-0 defeat of West Brom.
Cazorla was at the centre of a storm when he went to ground after a challenge from Steven Reid, resulting in the award of a penalty by referee Mike Jones, which Arteta subsequently converted. West Brom boss Steve Clarke said there was "zero contact" on Cazorla, but Arteta refused to accept his fellow Spaniard tried to con the referee.
"Santi was saying that he felt something. If there is a little (contact), it is (still) contact. The ref makes decisions, some right and some wrong," Arteta told reporters.
"For me, it is not right to dive. Santi is not a player who dives. He has taken a lot this year because of the way he plays and if he has done it (it is) because he felt something and changed direction, but he is not that type of player."
The incident overshadowed what was otherwise a much-improved display from Arsenal, in stark contrast to recent lacklustre form which saw them slump down the Barclays Premier League table.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: "I am proud of the victory because it is important for our season that when your backs are to the wall, the team responds.
"Also because our spirit has been questioned because we had a flat performance last week. You can only come back and win on the football pitch.
"Somewhere, with top-level sportsmen, when you have to win, you win. To deal with the nerves and be serious and resolute, that is what we have shown."
There is little respite for Arsenal who head to Bradford for their Capital One Cup quarter-final on Tuesday night. Wenger revealed he would rotate his squad against the npower League Two side, but with keeping an eye on progress towards Wembley and a shot at ending a seven-season trophy drought.
"Bacary Sagna will be rested on Tuesday, maybe one or two more, but we will go with a strong squad," said Wenger, who was without England forward Theo Walcott because of a calf problem.