Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger faces a lengthy touchline ban after high drama at the Emirates Stadium yesterday and what odds would a review of the gambling sites given on the Gunners beating Burnley 2-1 with a 98th-minute penalty.
Chilean hotshot Alexi Sanchez slotted home after Laurent Koscielny was kicked in the box just minutes after Sean Dyche’s side had levelled from the spot for 1-1 when Francis Coquelin fouled Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray scored.
That penalty prompted Wenger to react furiously and referee Jon Moss sent him to the stands and he then appeared to push fourth official Anthony Taylor.
Arsenal had taken the lead through defender Shkodran Mustafi’s first Gunners goal in the 59th-minute but the home side then had Granit Xhaka dismissed, leaving them stretched and seemingly vulnerable. It was Xhaka’s second red card for Wenger’s men.
Now even though Wenger has apologised for the shove, he could face action from the FA, following the action which, ultimately, led to the Gunners going second — eight points behind league leaders Chelsea.
“I regret everything. I should have shut up and gone in and gone home, basically. I apologise for that. There’s nothing bad. I said something you hear everyday in football but nine times out of 10 you’re not sent to the stand for that. But if I am, I am and I should have shut up completely.”
And Wenger has applauded the sheer audacity of Sanchez to score from the spot in the manner in which he did — a cheeky chip straight down the middle — with seconds left and his goal only serves to strengthen the feeling that he is one of Arsenal’s most prized assets.
“That’s him, so surprising! It never comes exactly out of him, what you expect. But he has the nerve. This guy is an instinctive competitor and it’s always very difficult to predict what he will do.”
“This team has an outstanding character. They are never beaten, we keep fighting. Overall I believe that is a fantastic quality. Since the start of the season you always feel that something will come out again. We are as well an offensive team, so that means as well that we always find goal chances. We have scored 50 goals until now, so you need some quality to do that.”
Arsenal take a break from league action next weekend when they travel to Southampton to face the Saints at St Mary’s Stadium in an FA Cup fourth round tie, with a 5.30pm kick-off.