Arsene Wenger has apologised for his behaviour toward the end of Arsenal’s dramatic 2-1 win over Burnley on Sunday, in which he appeared to push the fourth official after being sent to the stands.
Wenger was sent off for his reaction after Burnley were awarded a penalty in added time, having previously reacted furiously when fourth official Anthony Taylor had signalled seven added minutes to the game at Emirates Stadium.
And as Wenger stood in the tunnel, TV footage showed him continuing to argue with Taylor and appearing to angrily push the official.
When asked about the incident, Wenger said: “I regret everything. I should have shut up and gone in and gone home, basically. And I apologise for that.”
Wenger said he had not had time to apologise directly to Taylor, however, and the Arsenal boss could face further sanctions from the FA over the incident.
Referee Jon Moss had previously sent Granit Xhaka off with a straight red card for reckless two-footed challenge in the 65th minute, and gave Burnley a penalty when Francis Coquelin tripped Ashley Barnes. Both decisions appeared correct.
Wenger would not say why he was so upset, but also tried to downplay his argument with Taylor.
“It was nothing bad. I said something that you hear every day in football. But overall, nine times out of 10 you do not get sent to the stands,” Wenger said. “But if I am, I am. And I should have shut up completely.”
The incident forced Wenger to watch the final minutes on television inside the Emirates, as Andre Gray first levelled for Burnley before Alexis Sanchez snatched an unlikely win with another penalty in the 98th minute. That penalty was awarded for a high kick by Ben Mee on Laurent Koscielny, although replays showed the Arsenal centre-back had been offside.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche said that decision “leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” especially after seeing Arsenal score another disputed injury time winner at Turf Moor this season when Kosicelny deflected the ball into the net with his hand.
“That’s a bizarre, unfortunate twist of fate, for sure,” Dyche said. “You can’t believe the decision … He’s offside, simple as that.”
Wenger had a different view on that one, however, saying “it was a penalty and a red card.” Sanchez stepped up to the spot and calmly chipped the ball into the net past Tom Heaton. It was the coolest of penalties in such a high-pressure situation, and Wenger wasn’t entirely happy about the spot kick.
“Too cool,” he said. “But as long you score, you just have to accept it and say well done.”