LONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 23- Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted that he should have kept his emotions in check after being removed from the sideline by the fourth official in the closing stages of their game against Burnley.
Arsenal — already down to 10 men — conceded a late penalty that was converted by Andre Gray when referee Jon Moss penalised Francis Coquelin for a foul on Ashley Barnes, prompting an outburst from Wenger.
“My view is that honestly I did not see that it was a penalty,” Wenger told the BBC when asked about the penalty. “I will have to watch it on the video. Francis told me that he ran into him.”
“Myself, I should have shut up and I apologise for not having done that,” he said. “It was nothing malicious. I should have kept my control, even if it was in a hectic time.”
Wenger appeared to resist the fourth official’s attempts to have him head up the tunnel by pushing the official’s arms away.
“I didn’t see any penalty from outside, but I should have shut up and I apologise, even if I was frustrated.”
However, Wenger ended the day happy after Alexis Sanchez restored their one-point lead at the Emirates Stadium with a penalty of their own to claim a 2-1 win.
“We finally got the win, but of course it was very difficult for us. We couldn’t get the second goal [earlier], we played with 10 men and they played well as well. In the end we got the three points we wanted,” Wenger said.
Burnley manager Sean Dyche also had words for the officials, saying he thought Laurent Koscielny was offside for the Gunners in the lead up to Ben Mee’s foul on him that drew the final penalty.
“It’s a tough day for us in the end,” Dyche said. “To lose a game in that fashion, with an offside not given is tough, particularly when you come to tough places like this.”
Former Premier League chief Keith Hackett said that the Football Association (FA) needs to hand Wenger a stern sanction.
“For the sake of every official at every level of the game the FA must throw the book at Arsene Wenger after his disgraceful behaviour on Sunday,” Hackett wrote in the Telegraph.
“They need to send out a strong, clear message: Officials are sacrosanct and if you lay hands on them you will pay a heavy price.”
“A one or two match touchline ban just won’t cut it on this occasion … an absolute minimum is a six-game ban.”