Fabregas calls for ref consistency

30 December 2010 07:30

Cesc Fabregas has criticised referees for inconsistency claiming Arsenal were denied a last-minute penalty at Wigan for exactly the same offence as he was penalised for in November's 3-2 loss to Tottenham.

Fabregas was suspended for Wednesday night's 2-2 draw at Wigan, but referee Lee Probert incurred the Gunners skipper's wrath for refusing to penalise James McArthur when Samir Nasri's free-kick clearly hit his hands in the last minute of the match.

The Spanish midfielder said on his Twitter account: "What's the difference between this handball and my one versus Spurs? Referees don't want us to complain about them but they make life difficult for themselves. I'm not complaining at all, I'm just saying why on the same thing some refs say it's a penalty and some not. Is it a rule or just what they feel?"

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said of the Wigan incident: "I personally did not see it but Nasri is adamant it was a 100% penalty."

Wenger also insisted his decision to make eight changes was not a gamble that backfired despite Arsenal letting 10-man Wigan off the hook.

The Gunners were leading 2-1, with Charles N'Zogbia having been red-carded for head-butting Jack Wilshere, only for the home side to level thanks to an own goal by Sebastian Squillaci.

The Arsenal manager said: "I had to change the team, with all these matches we cannot play always with the same team, but I don't think that was a problem at all. We had a disadvantage that Manchester United has not got - Wigan played three days ago and we played 48 hours ago, a big game in the evening.

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez declared himself "extremely pleased" with the result but criticised N'Zogbia for his red card, although claimed the French winger had come in for rough treatment.

Martinez said: "There's no excuses - that's unacceptable, it's a bad reaction. Charles started the game very well, he won a penalty, he gets kicked in every game and there's a lot of emotions but you cannot accept that sort of reaction.

"From the first minute Charles got a rough treatment and you want to protect the skilful players and that protection should come from other areas not from himself."

Source: PA