Arsenal supporters have started a petition with the aim of banning Premier League referee Jonathan Moss from officiating their games following their heavy Boxing Day defeat to Southampton.
Despite being installed as title favourites following their impressive display against Manchester City earlier this week, Arsene Wenger’s side went down 4-0 at St. Mary’s and relinquished a chance to move to the top of the league table.
In his post-match press conference, the 66-year-old manager defended his side and partly apportioned blame to Moss, the match referee, by claiming that at least three of Southampton’s goals should not have been allowed.
"Well, I think Southampton made the game very physical," Wenger said. "We lost too many challenges and that explains why we lost the game. But that's one aspect, so well done to them.
"The second aspect is that on the first three goals we were really unlucky with the decision of the referee.
"The first goal was offside, the second goal was a foul and third goal was a goal-kick, so if you're a bit below par and on top of that you have the first three goals against you in the decision-making then it's even more difficult.
"On top of that, well done Southampton and I hope in the next game we have this kind of decisions for us," he added.
Southampton midfielder Steven Davis appeared to stray offside in the build-up to Cuco Martina's excellent opening goal, while Shane Long appeared to trip Laurent Koscielny while pressuring the Arsenal defender before adding the second.
The Arsenal manager also believed that the corner from which Jose Fonte scored the Saints’ third goal should have been awarded as a goal kick.
Supporters of the north London club, under the username ‘Arsenal Today’, have now registered their disappointment with the officiating at St. Mary’s by setting up a petition on Change.org.
At the time of writing, 479 people have pledged their support to the petition, which asks for “a punishment or ban from Arsenal games for Jonathan Moss”.
A previous petition, set up by an Arsenal fan with the aim of preventing referee Mike Dean from taking charge of the club’s games, attracted over 100,000 signatures following the controversial meeting with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
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