Arsenal fluff chance to go top with defeat at Everton
Arsenal squandered their chance on Tuesday night to claim pole position in the English Premier. The north Londoners lost 2-1 at Everton to remain second, three points behind Chelsea.
It was only Arsenal's second league defeat of the season and the setback was all the more galling for manager Arsène Wenger as his side had taken the lead and the winner came after what Wenger called a refereeing blunder.
Wenger said the official, Mark Clattenburg, wrongly awarded the first of a series of corners from which Ashley Williams headed in the 86th-minute winner.
The Frenchman conceded, however, that once the kick had been given, his side should have dealt with the threat.
"Of course, it was not a corner," said Wenger. "It was the wrong decision. You could see from outside that it was no corner. I'm very disappointed because Clattenburg was in a very good position to see the player had the ball out.
"It is not the first time we are unlucky with his decisions this season. But overall I don't want to speak about the referee too much."
The Everton boss, Ronald Koeman, reacted sarcastically to Wenger's anlaysis.
"I'm not surprised about Wenger's comments," he said. "Because it is the third time in a row that I won as a manager at home against Arsenal. And that is three times in a row that it was about the referee. OK, sorry Arsenal, we won through the referee tonight, sorry!
"Their weakness is if you go face-to-face and win battles and you run and you go. Then you need a bit of luck and we deserved that."
Everton rise to eighth following the victory which ends a run of five games without a win. The sequence had raised question marks about Koeman's future at Goodison Park less than six months after succeeding Roberto Martinez.
"If you fight for every ball and are aggressive, you see the reaction of the crowd and with a lot of aggression, you can make life difficult. Then it is really difficult to beat Everton here," said Koeman. "Of course now it is a totally different situation to go into Monday's game against Liverpool. We have three points in the pocket, a good performance and we know we are very strong at home."
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