Is Arsene Wenger right about refereeing decisions going against Arsenal?

Media playback is not supported on this device

I'm surprised and shocked at charge - Wenger

Branding decisions "farcical" and "scandalous"; saying referees "don't work enough"; and accusing Raheem Sterling of "diving very well" - it feels like Arsene Wenger has been at loggerheads with officials all season.

As the Arsenal boss is given a three-match touchline ban and faces another potential FA sanction over his most recent comments about Premier League referees, BBC Sport has reviewed the seven key incidents in the five matches Wenger has directly complained about - Stoke, Watford, Manchester City, West Brom and Chelsea.

Is Wenger right about the Gunners being harshly treated? A vote on the BBC Sport website saw 53% of people say they agreed with Wenger's view that Arsenal don't get the rub of the green very often.

Stoke (away) - 19 August

Lacazette thought he had struck for Arsenal at Stoke
Lacazette thought he had struck for Arsenal at Stoke

The contentious moments: Hector Bellerin goes down in the area under challenge from Mame Biram Diouf and later Alexandre Lacazette has a goal ruled out for offside. Lacazette's boot is fractionally ahead of his nearest marker. Arsenal lose 1-0.

Wenger to BBC Sport: "We scored a regular goal that was given offside that wasn't offside"

Jermaine Jenas on MOTD: "I thought there were more than a few decisions that went against Arsenal. Diouf slipped, but it's still a foul. The linesman got lucky with the goal. How he spotted his toe is offside, I don't know. He's got it right but you can understand why Wenger is upset."

Danny Murphy on MOTD: "Diouf was stumbling as he went down, but it's still a pen."

Former referee Graham Poll told BT Sport: "I'm not quite sure how the assistant referee saw the offside. It's a different colour football boot, I think that's probably what helps him, and it's a correct decision. We can't say it's wrong when it's not, it's definitely offside and it's the right decision.

Poll on Diouf's challenge: "I understood it from (the referee) Andre Marriner's position initially. But from another angle you see Diouf just taking the back of Bellerin's left leg. So technically it's a penalty but very hard to call live with one angle."

Pundits' verdict: Correct decisions

Ex-referee's verdict: Correct decisions

Watford (away) - 14 October

The penalty Bellerin gave away led to Watford drawing level
The penalty Bellerin gave away led to Watford drawing level

The contentious moment: Hector Bellein slides in and Richarlison goes down to win a penalty. Arsenal lose 2-1.

Wenger to BBC Sport: "We were 1-0 up and it was a scandalous decision. But we have to deal with it. We had many chances to score a second goal and in the end we got punished. It is very difficult to swallow."

Ian Wright on MOTD: "He's gone over very easily… I think that he dives."

Danny Murphy on MOTD: "If Arsene Wenger was in the other dugout he'd expect the penalty there."

Former referee Dermot Gallagher told Sky Sports: "There is a slight clip but not enough to give a penalty. The player has gone down so easily that he's made the referee's mind up for him."

Former referee Graham Poll: "It's deception. There's no contact, he throws his legs out, that's a clear dive."

Pundits' verdict: Incorrect decision

Ex-referee's verdict: Incorrect decision

Manchester City (away) - 5 November

Alan shearer believes Wenger was harsh on Raheem Sterling (left)
Alan Shearer believed Wenger was harsh on Raheem Sterling (left)

The contentious moments: Raheem Sterling goes down in the area to win a penalty under the challenge of Nacho Monreal. Later, Gabriel Jesus scores the final goal of the game from David Silva's pass but Arsenal protest that Silva is offside. Arsenal lose 3-1.

Wenger to BBC Sport: "It was a provoked penalty by Sterling. We know that he dives very well. And the third goal was offside. Last year we conceded two goals here that were offside. And again one this year."

Ian Wright on MOTD2: "It was a penalty. The defending was poor. It was clumsy and when you see it from behind, he catches the leg. It's very harsh for him to say that."

Alan Shearer on MOTD2: "It's totally wrong. The third goal is a yard offside, and he's been left down by the referee. It's one thing to deflect from his team's inadequacies and deficiencies but another to question someone's integrity and be wrong. He owes Sterling an apology."

Former referee Dermot Gallagher: "Monreal comes across and barges into Sterling. You could argue he's in on goal, he hasn't made a clear attempt to play the ball. It could well have been a red card. It's definitely a penalty."

Former referee Keith Hackett told the Daily Telegraph on Jesus goal: "Was clearly offside and, on this decision, the referee was relying on his assistant. It was a decision that assistant referees simply have to get right at this level."

Pundits' verdict: Correct on Sterling penalty decision, incorrect on Jesus offside goal

Ex-referee's verdict: Correct on Sterling penalty decision, incorrect on Jesus offside goal

West Brom (away) - 31 December

Arsenal were angered by referee Mike Dean's award of a penalty for West Brom
Arsenal were angered by referee Mike Dean's award of a penalty for West Brom

The contentious moment: Kieran Gibbs' attempted cross hits the lower arm of Calum Chambers at close range. The defender's arm is in front of his chest. Arsenal draw 1-1.

Wenger to BBC Sport: "Many years ago [former Arsenal vice-chairman] David Dein and myself fought very hard for referees to become professional. But I've said many times now that they don't work enough. [Referee Mike Dean] didn't see it. There was a player in front of him. That's why I questioned his decision, he didn't see it."

Leon Osman on MOTD: "It's a very generous one. I'd have been very annoyed if it was given against us. But Mike Dean has a great view and has decided that Chambers has moved his arm, so I can understand why he's given it. If it doesn't hit his arm, it hits his body."

Shay Given on MOTD: "I think it's a very generous penalty. Your arms have to be somewhere as a defender."

Former referee Keith Hackett: "To award a penalty in these circumstances, there should be no room for doubt. At The Hawthorns, Dean seemed to me very quick - perhaps too quick - to rush in to award the penalty."

Pundits' verdict: Incorrect decision

Ex-referee's verdict: Incorrect decision

Chelsea (home) - 3 Jan

After the 2-2 draw Hazard was adamant Bellerin fouled him
After the 2-2 draw, Chelsea's Eden Hazard was adamant Bellerin fouled him

The contentious moment: With Arsenal leading 1-0, Hector Bellerin attempts to kick a ball in his own area at waist height. Eden Hazard goes for the same ball and wins it first before going down. When both players are interviewed together afterwards, Bellerin says they both got to the ball at the same time, while Hazard says "we don't need a replay, it's a penalty".

Wenger to BBC Sport: "Once again we got a very bad decision against us. We have to account now in our preparations for that; bad decisions. I don't want to start because it gets me frustrated and upset. It's not serious. It's always facts that are not proven right. I love football and I'd like to talk about football and not referees."

Danny Mills on 5 live: "It was a clear penalty. We said before we looked at the replays, 'penalty'. Managers will tell players - and referees know - if you don't go down, you've no chance of getting a penalty."

Former referee Dermot Gallagher: "When you see the incident, the clue is the ball: Bellerin doesn't get the ball, and once you don't get the ball in that situation, he's caught Hazard on the inside of the boot and therefore he's duty-bound to give a penalty."

Pundit's verdict: Correct decision

Ex-referee's verdict: Correct decision

Top Stories