Although Arsenal managed a 2-0 win against West Bromwich Albion on Monday night, there was some controversy about the fact that the Baggies weren’t awarded a penalty in first half.
Shkodran Mustafi went lunging in on Jay Rodriguez, who fell to the ground, but quickly got up and hit the post with a shot before Mustafi could recover. Jake Livermore then had a near open goal to put the ball into, but he missed as well.
Although it was unclear what decision referee Bobby Madley had given at the time, Wenger didn’t deny that Mustafi had committed a foul, and instead suggested that the referee had played advantage, reports the Islington Gazette.
“The referee left the advantage and they nearly scored from that. They hit the post and I think the decision is defendable on both sides – whether he should have given the decision or not. If he gives the penalty and not the advantage and they miss the penalty then you will say ‘why did he not give the advantage?'”
If Madley did give an advantage, then you can understand what Wenger is saying. Rodriguez almost scored anyway, and then Livermore should have scored. After both players missed great chances, it would have been unfair to then pull the game back and give them a third opportunity.
However, it’s not clear Madley actually did play the advantage, as he seemed to just ignore the appeals completely. If that’s the case, then it was the wrong decision. Wenger is right, though, that if a penalty was given and missed it would have been just as controversial that the referee didn’t play the advantage.