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Wenger angry over ref visit
27 Dec 2008 - 11:31:25
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger could be in trouble with the Football Association after claiming referee Lee Mason was influenced by pressure from Aston Villa during the Boxing Day 2-2 draw at Villa Park.
Wenger saw his side throw away a two-goal lead and drop more points in the title race before suggesting the match official had been influenced by the atmosphere inside the stadium and the Villa management team.
The Frenchman was angry that Villa boss Martin O'Neill's number two John Robertson reportedly visited the referee at half-time to discuss a first-half decision.
Gareth Barry then started the comeback with a second-half penalty after William Gallas was adjudged to have fouled Gabriel Agbonlahor in the box.
"I know how it works here," claimed Wenger. "At half-time the referee gets stick and then in the second half every little 50-50 decision goes the other way.
"That's what happened. It's not only here.
"I waited at half-time to see what happened and I was not disappointed."
Asked if he was implying that someone from Villa influenced the referee, Wenger added: "I have nothing to explain more than that."
Meanwhile, Wenger admitted he is becoming increasingly frustrated with his side's inability to hold onto leads.
He added: "It's frustrating because I feel we tried very hard. It was an average football game but with a little bit more composure we could have scored five goals today.
"The spirit was fantastic. Spirit is needed but not sufficient."