Arsene Wenger has said referees are protected like “lions in the zoo” after saying that bad decisions cost Arsenal in their 2-1 defeat by Manchester City.
Wenger’s side led before Leroy Sane equalised, although replays showed he was offside by the finest of margins.
And David Silva was in an offside position when Raheem Sterling scored the winner, but it was unclear whether he hindered goalkeeper Petr Cech.
“It’s very difficult to accept in a game of that stature,” Wenger said.
“But, as it is well known, the referees are protected very well like the lions in the zoo, so we have to live with those decisions.”
The Gunners took the lead at the Etihad Stadium thanks to Theo Walcott’s early breakaway goal before City fought back to triumph with two second-half strikes that sent them above Arsenal and into second place.
Promise, a bright and sharp
I felt we were in control before half-time and it did not look like we could lose the game
Asked to clarify his comments about the officials, Wenger said:
“I want them to be very well protected, and I want them to be safe, but if they could make the right decisions it would be even better.”
He added: “I can understand City look very happy – I would be as well – but I think the goals are offside.”
Arsenal slipped to fourth, two points behind City and nine behind leaders Chelsea, after suffering their second defeat in six days.