Arsene Wenger says the FA have “repaired five per cent of the damage” by rescinding Gabriel’s three-match ban received against Chelsea.
The FA overturned Gabriel’s three-match suspension for kicking out at Chelsea striker Diego Costa during their clash on Saturday afternoon, with the punishment reverting to the Spaniard for his part instead.
Gabriel was sent off by referee Mike Dean on the stroke of half-time at Stamford Bridge with the scores level, and Chelsea made their one-man – and soon to be two-man with Santi Cazorla’s dismissal – advantage count as they ran out 2-0 winners.
Wenger was not satisfied in the slightest with the FA’s retrospective actions however, and the Frenchman admitted he was “still angry” at the standard of officiating during the Premier League clash.
“They decided after the game what should have happened during the game,” said the boss after Arsenal’s 2-1 Capital One Cup win over Tottenham on Wednesday evening.
“They repaired five per cent of the damage that has been done to us. Instead of us playing 11 against 10, we played 10 against 11.
“I watched the game again. It’s better I don’t talk too much because there are some thing that were really surprising in this game, some incidents were really handled very lightly and not seriously, and it’s better I don’t talk too much because I’m still angry about it.
“I won’t give you anything more. It’s just difficult to understand. One or two situations in the game are very difficult to understand when you watch it again. I am in a job where I sometimes have to swallow things that are not right, maybe our opponents do sometimes as well.”
Despite initially reprimanding Gabriel for his actions in retaliating, Wenger has since backtracked by stating that the Brazilian “did not do a lot” to warrant a straight red card. The Gunners have until 6pm on Thursday to respond to charges of failing to control their players and to a separate improper conduct charge for the defender in how he reacted.
“I said to you after the game that he should not have responded at all and I maintain that and I told him that,” said Wenger. “But when I saw it again, he did not do a lot, honestly. You want them just to have hopefully a fair judgement and we will accept what they decide. That’s part of it. They will judge that situation and it’s right. They cannot consider the whole context of the game.”
Speaking after his side beat bitter rivals Spurs in the Capital One Cup, Wenger also reserved praise for midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who scored both goals in a 2-1 win at White Hart Lane.
“You do not expect Mathieu Flamini to score two goals,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “He was certainly frustrated for a long time and he went for it.
“He scored two good goals, especially the second one. I think on the second one he made an early decision to go for it and just focused and finished with a great goal.
“He is a fighter and he is a winner as well. I told him at the start of the season it might be difficult for him to be a starter but he decided to stay and he did fight.”