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Wenger critical of 'unfair' Rovers
Published : 03 May 2010 20:38:00
Arsene Wenger refused to blame goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianski for Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at Blackburn, instead accusing Rovers of "unfair" tactics. Robin van Persie's first goal since October 31, having been sidelined for five months with an ankle injury, had put the visitors ahead in the 14th minute. However, they failed to deal with Morten Gamst Pedersen corners on two occasions as David Dunn equalised from close range just before half-time and Chris Samba headed in from barely three yards after Fabianski failed to come and collect. The Poland international had endured similar trials at Wigan last month, when he conceded three goals in the last 10 minutes in a defeat which effectively ended Arsenal's title challenge. But Wenger said no blame could be attached to his goalkeeper. "There is no purpose to play the ball from the Blackburn players - they don't even watch the ball," he said. "He (Fabianski) had two players in front of him all the time and every time it was to stop him getting the ball. "In football when you don't go for the ball and you stop the keeper going for the ball it is a foul. "I think the referee cannot allow that. I am very disappointed the referee lets that happen in a football game, it is unfair to a goalkeeper. "They (Blackburn) do it well but when you feel that as a referee you have to give more protection. "It doesn't take away the fact we weren't good but that is completely unfair." Wenger said he had no concerns about Fabianski's form or confidence and deflected the attention towards referee Martin Atkinson's performance. "I think Lucasz had a good game - it should affect the confidence of the referee," he added. An unrepentant Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce was, unsurprisingly, delighted to have irked his Arsenal counterpart. "If you expose the opposition's weaknesses enough then in the end those weaknesses will be exposed," he said. "The amount of balls we put into the box on the keeper, who has obviously been a weak link for them, paid off. "We beat Arsenal fair and square. The referee gave some that were fouls, he gave some that weren't fouls and he didn't give some that might have been fouls. "You can't give everything as a foul on the goalkeeper and he certainly gave his fair share. "You can argue all you want about those two particular incidents but we could argue Morten Gamst Pedersen should have had a penalty when he got brought down in the second half. "I'm not overly concerned about what Arsene says - he's said it before about my tactics. "But we know these tactics work against Arsenal and they've worked again today." Allardyce added: "We play the game as managers, we look at each other and you see if you can find any weaknesses in the opposition manager as well as the team. "Criticising me is great because I'd sooner him criticise me when I've beaten them rather than him praising me when they've beaten us. "It is very pleasing we have won the game and I think we won the game because we deserved to."