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Wenger: Cazorla lost balance

Arsene Wenger defended Santi Cazorla after Arsenal's victory over West Bromwich Albion, but has yet to review the incident which infuriated Steve Clarke.

Last Updated: 09/12/12 at 08:38 Post Comment

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Mikel Arteta opened the scoring for the Gunners with a penalty in their 2-0 victory over the Baggies, after referee Mike Jones ruled that Steven Reid had brought down Cazorla.

Clarke hit out at the decision after the final whistle and insisted there was 'zero contact', but Wenger revealed that he had talked to Cazorla.

"I am sorry if it was not a penalty, but I have spoken to Santi and he said he was touched, lost his balance. Has he made a bit more of it? I don't know," Wenger said.

"When he [a player] is touched, he goes down, the referee can give or not give the penalty. Of course [I will speak to Santi if he has not been touched]. I will look at it, don't worry."

Despite its controversial nature, it was a much-needed first victory in four matches for the Gunners, who have moved back up the Premier League table as a result.

"Overall we played well. We were maybe a bit lucky on the first penalty, but we created chances and kept a clean sheet," Wenger said.

"We have shown a great spirit, which many people questioned after our last game, so we did our job very well.

"You could feel we were ready for a fight and that we absolutely had to win this game, which is what we did."

England midfielder Jack Wilshere produced a composed display and was the heartbeat of the Arsenal side.

Wenger said: "Jack is getting closer to the player we know he is and today I think he made a big step.

"You could see it already this week in training, that he has gained a little burst again, a little zip in the first three or four yards.

"In football, you have sometimes to be patient. He can only gain it by playing but of course in the first games you cannot be at that level."

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eanwhile, England's best U21 players playing with those most likely to be in the senior team from 2020 onwards might increase their chances in those tournaments to a point where they could actually be potential winners. Unlike 2016.

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