Wenger - Of course it was a foul

Arsene Wenger was in no doubt about the vital opening goal at Chelsea on Sunday: it was a foul on Hector Bellerin.

Marcos Alonso clattered our Spanish right back as he climbed to nod home the loose ball after Diego Costa’s initial header had struck the crossbar.

Here’s the boss’ take on that game-changing moment:

on Chelsea’s first goal…
Of course it was a foul. But he allowed the goal and after that I think it was much more difficult for us. We were 1-0 down and Chelsea are very good at defending and very strong in transition, on the counter-attack. We paid for that. If you look at the goals we conceded, it’s all that. We were maybe not good enough in possession to make our game more dangerous. We lost many balls in positions you can’t afford to lose it when you play teams who are good on the counter-attack. Overall look at all their shots - our keeper had not a lot to save today, even if I concede that we did not create enough as well in the final third. It was a kind of game that Chelsea love and they mastered that very well.

on the decision to take Bellerin off…
Yeah, the decision was very quick but you have to respect that. It’s the head and I think one of the [conclusions] from the game today is that referees are much more severe with tackles on the ground and let much more go with elbows in the face. It’s not only today but in many, many games I see that. It’s more dangerous to hit the head than the legs.

on whether Bellerin was knocked out…
Yes. Was he completely knocked out? He didn’t know the result of the game. At the time he didn’t see the goal.

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