Allardyce revels in defeating Wenger

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The Independent Online

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce took great delight in getting the better of Arsenal counterpart Arsene Wenger in his side's 2-1 win at Ewood Park yesterday.

Allardyce targeted goalkeeper Lucasz Fabianksi from set-pieces by crowding players into the six-yard area.

Wenger called the tactic "unfair" but the Rovers boss felt he was fully justified, considering the Poland international's history of being susceptible under pressure.

It paid off as both Blackburn's goals came from corners when Fabianski failed to deal with Morten Gamst Pedersen's delivery; David Dunn tapping in the first from close range before Chris Samba headed in from barely three yards.

That was after Robin van Persie's first goal since October 31, having been sidelined for five months with an ankle injury, had given the Gunners a 14th-minute lead.

"He is entitled to his opinion. Whatever has happened between us in the past, and it has been a little frosty on occasions, I have always respected him as a manager," said Allardyce of Wenger.

"He is a terrific manager and what he has done for Arsenal is magnificent but we can't play like them so we didn't.

"We set out to spoil them and the spoiling tactics worked.

"They (Arsenal) are one of the big four and when you are beating one of them it is not expected.

"Then it is a bit of emotion after the game that they are upset about something which has not gone their way.

"But I can assure you that most of the time, throughout the season, the 'big boys' get the rub of the green more than the likes of Blackburn Rovers.

"That is not done on purpose by the officials it is just a psychological problem they have because they are human beings and the pressure they get put under turns them that way slightly.

"We all know that and we have to live with that."

Wenger, who refused to blame Fabianski, criticised referee Martin Atkinson for not providing more protection for 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."

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