“I was surprised” – Mark Clattenburg delivers verdict on Arsenal defeat to Manchester City

Former Premier League referee Mark Clattenburg has revealed that he “surprised” about Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger reaction after the match against Manchester City.

The Frenchman was left furious after his side slumped to a 3-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium with Kevin de Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus getting on the score-sheet for the current Premier League leaders.

Wenger was left than happy with referee Michael Oliver after he awarded the hosts a penalty just after half-time as Nacho Monreal produced a clumsy challenge on Raheem Sterling.

Wenger was also rightly angered as the assistant referee failed to rise his flag in the build up to City’s third goal when David Silva was clearly in an offside position.

With the scoreline at 2-1, the offside decision appeared to be crucial as Arsenal failed to react and left Etihad Stadium with City earning all the three points.

Writing in his column for the Times, the ex-Premier League referee believes that Wenger has every right to be annoyed with the third goal when David Silva was clearly in an offside position.

Wenger was also rightly angered as the assistant referee failed to rise his flag in the build up to City’s third goal when David Silva was clearly in an offside position.

“Michael Oliver was right to award a penalty for Nacho Monreal’s challenge on Raheem Sterling,” he wrote.

“It is not clear-cut enough to say that every referee would have given it, but Wenger would have wanted a penalty if the same thing had happened to an Arsenal player.

“Wenger has more justification to be annoyed about the third goal, because even as a referee I thought, “That looked yards offside,” when I first saw it.

Clattenburg added: “I was surprised that Wenger was not more angry about that last one.”

F/W’s view

Mark Clattenburg is completely right with his assessment of the two incidents at the Etihad this past weekend. Arsenal have every right to be furious with the assistant referee especially as they were the side in dominating at the time of the decision. However, there shouldn’t be much of a debate with regards to the penalty as it’s clear that Monreal catches the back of Sterling’s foot at full speed. That wasn’t a dive and Wenger must surely look back on his interview and recognise that he was out of order with his comments towards the City winger. It will be interesting to see whether the FA take action against the Arsenal boss for his damning assessment of the level of officiating in the Premier League.

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Donald Stephen is a freelance football writer who knows only slightly less about football than you do. A regular contributor to Football Weeks, the Set Pieces, and others. You can connect with us on – Facebook and Twitter