Swansea rampage while Wenger rants
Arsenal manager scatters accusations as Henry is involved in angry exchange with fan
While Brendan Rodgers urged the England manager, Fabio Capello, to call up his match-winners against Arsenal yesterday, Arsène Wenger accused Nathan Dyer of "diving" and Michael Oliver of granting a penalty which he called "complete imagination".
The Arsenal manager, who did take time out from his rant to praise Swansea for the win which took them into the top half of the Premier League, was furious with the first-half spot-kick, given against Aaron Ramsey, which allowed the home side to equalise after Robin van Persie's early opener and set them up for a 3-2 victory. "The game was decided by some strange decisions, the first by the referee was the penalty, which was a complete imagination and it was a good dive by the player," Wenger said.
Dyer defended himself against the Arsenal manager's claim. "I dragged the ball back and got a kick on the back of my standing leg," he said. "It was a clear penalty."
At the final whistle, Thierry Henry exchanged angry words with an Arsenal supporter. The fan shouted something at the striker, who pointed at him in the crowd and shouted back: "Support your team."
For Arsenal, it was the second League defeat in a row, their year beginning in dreadful fashion, following the 2-1 loss away to Fulham. They are now four points behind Chelsea, level on points with Newcastle, 12 points off the top. Again, their back four was culpable, Wenger admitting "our defensive performance [was] not good enough".
He resisted starting Thierry Henry but did introduce him just after the hour for his first Premier League appearance in five years. However, he was unable to replicate his match-winning exploits against Leeds last week. This time, the euphoria was all Swansea's, with the three goalscorers – Scott Sinclair, Dyer and Danny Graham – the heroes. Capello was in attendance and Rodgers suggested the Italian should take note.
"He would have been surprised at the level they played at," he said. "The front three were a massive threat all afternoon. I'm sure they gave him something to think about."
Yet Rodgers was keen to praise his whole team for taking the biggest scalp of their season. "In adverse moments you find out about the players, and the response and resolve was incredible," he said. "Keeping the ball is something we all believe. The players show great courage to pass the ball, sometimes we make mistakes but I've got a great belief they can play and pass, even against the best teams.
Latest in Sport
Liverpool's 2005 Champions League-winning side: From Jerzy Dudek to Vladimir Smicer - where are they now?
Jack Wilshere's final-day strike wins Match of the Day's Goal of the Season award after Arsenal fans hijack vote
Jurgen Klopp favourite to replace Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool if he's sacked
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Brendan Rodgers: 87 per cent of readers think Liverpool should sack their manager
- 1 Cyclist who knocked down three-year-old girl says his life has been 'destroyed'
- 2 A politically correct lefty goes to see Top Gear live – you'll probably believe what happened next
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Puerto Rico, island of lost dreams: People are leaving the debt-hit territory in droves as near neighbour Cuba's star rises
- 5 Snoop Dogg on why he doesn't regret displaying misogyny towards women
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people