Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger generally accepted Premier League leaders Manchester City would be “hard to stop” in their mission for the title particularly in the event that they kept on getting the rub of the green from referees.
Wenger accused City forward Raheem Sterling of diving after he won a penalty in City 3-1 win over Arsenal at the Etihad on Sunday.
The Frenchman was incensed with the performance of official Michael Oliver who granted the spot kick and a questionable goal he allowed, which the Arsene Wenger claimed was offside.
“I believe it was no penalty,” said Wenger. “We know that Raheem Sterling dives well, he does that very well.
“And the third goal was offside. I am very upset because at 2-1 we were in the game. The third goal was the killer and it is by coincidence that mistakes always go for the home team, as we know.
“It is unfortunate that the game finished the way it finished. I am disappointed. You can accept if it City win in a normal way, they are a good side but this is unacceptable,” added Wenger after a match that left his side 12 points behind the table-toppers.
“Last season we lost two offside goals and it has happened again. City will be hard to stop.”
Manchester City has win 10 games, draw just one from their opening 11 Premier League games this season, prompting speculation that Pep Guardiola led side could repeat Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ Arsenal team that went through the whole of the 2003/04 season without losing a Premier League game.
“Look, can anyone stop them? asked Wenger rhetorically. “It will be difficult this season with the way they have started, the way they are on a run, they quality they have.
“They will be difficult to stop but you never say never. If, on top of that, they have decisions like that at home, they will be unstoppable.”
Wenger had grounds for complaint when Laurent Koscielny was judged to have brought down Sterling for Sergio Aguero to make it 2-0 from the penalty spot and television replays suggested he was especially hard done by as David Silva appeared offside before setting up Gabriel Jesus for City’s third goal in the 74th minute.
“I felt it was an intense game of quality for both sides,” said Wenger. “Man City are on a high but I felt we had plenty of dangerous situations and chances.
“Overall, once again, the referee made the decision again, with a penalty and an offside goal. We are used to it when we come here. I feel they (referees) don’t work enough because it happens every season. It is unacceptable,” Wenger insisted.