Arsene Wenger said he “wouldn’t want to be Mike Dean tonight” after blaming the referee for nine-man Arsenal’s 2-0 defeat against Chelsea.
The Frenchman felt that Chelsea striker Diego Costa was lucky to remain on the pitch, and bemoaned the red cards handed to Gabriel and Santi Cazorla in either half.
Arsenal succumbed to their second Premier League defeat of the season through goals from Kurt Zouma and an Eden Hazard strike via a Calum Chambers deflection, but Wenger chose to concentrate on Costa’s role in Gabriel’s first-half dismissal.
Asked whether he felt a sense of injustice after the defeat, Wenger responded: “A big one. Costa is a red card.
“I would not like to be Mike Dean tonight because I cannot understand the situations and how he dealt with it,” Wenger added.
“Costa twice should be sent off with [Laurent] Koscielny. He hits him in the face in purpose. He makes a fuss of it. In every game he has aggravation and he gets away with it because of the weakness of the referee. Look at the pictures. We knew before the game he is only looking at that. We are guilty because we gave in on that and we responded to it.
“He can do what he wants, and he stays on. When somebody touches him he goes down like he has been killed. He will do the same next week and the week after and he always gets away with it.
“Gabriel should not have responded at all but the two sendings off for us and Costa staying on the pitch is a shame.”
Wenger continued to say that Costa set out to “use the naivety of Mike Dean”, with the Frenchman agreeing the same was true of Gabriel.
The Arsenal boss was also disappointed with Cazorla’s sending off in the second half at a time which he felt his side were “dominating” the game.
“We have a chance to come back into a game which we are dominating and it kills us. When you know Santi I think it was very, very accidental. If he touched him, I’m not even sure.”
Wenger then discussed the foul that lead to Chelsea’s opening goal, with Aaron Ramsey conceding a free-kick from which Zouma headed home a Cesc Fabregas delivery.
“I felt that the foul was very harsh against us. Aaron Ramsey comes out with the ball and I can’t understand how he gives the foul against us.”
On the half-time withdrawal of Francis Coquelin, Wenger added: “He has a little knee problem. We have to see how he is tomorrow but for the next game certainly we’ll be short. I don’t know, it’s difficult at the moment.
When asked on the lack of a handshake with compatriot Jose Mourinho at the end of the game, the Frenchman responded: “I’m always available,” before shaking the hand of the interviewer and leaving.