Wenger slams 'scandalous' penalty decision in defeat to Watford

Richarlison appeared to have gone down very softly under challenge from Hector Bellerin before Tom Cleverley's late winner gave Watford a 2-1 comeback win against the Gunners.

Wenger slams 'scandalous' penalty decision in defeat to Watford
Tom Cleverley compounded Arsenal's misery by hammering home a late winner. (Photo via Getty Images/ Charlie Crowhurst)

Arsene Wenger has brandished the decision by Neil Swarbrick to award Watford a penalty as 'scandalous' after Arsenal's 2-1 defeat at Vicarage Road.

Richarlison appeared to have gone to ground extremely easily during a challenge with Hector Bellerin inside the Arsenal box.

Wenger not happy

The Brazillian mis-controlled the ball out of play and despite no trailing or loose leg from the full-back, Richarlison fell to the floor and referee Swarbrick awarded the Hornets a penalty kick.

"I think it’s a scandalous decision but what can we do about it? Nothing," said Wenger, who spoke to BT Sport after he watched his side squander a 1-0 lead after Per Mertesacker's opener. "We can talk and talk and talk at the end of the day about video referees but they scored."

Mertesacker had put the Gunners a goal up five minutes before half time as he took advantage of Watford's zonal marking from a corner to head home from six yards.

Watford's controversial equaliser came with 19 minutes to go after Mesut Ozil had a golden chance to put Arsenal two goals to the good 30 seconds previously, but saw his tame effort saved by Heurelho Gomes when through on goal.

The winner came on 92 minutes as Tom Cleverley smashed into the roof of Petr Cech's goal following some penalty box pin-ball.

Wenger, however, did admit his side should have still won the game aside from what he described as a ridiculous penalty decision.

The Frenchman said: "I believe that we had many, many dangerous situations where we could have scored goals and didn’t to make the score 2-0 once we were 1-0 up.

"On top of that we were a bit unlucky, the decision on the penalty is a bit ridiculous and then I think we panicked a bit for the second as there was no reason to give the ball away and now we stand here with a defeat.

"I felt we wanted to win the game, we dropped in the second half, we played extremely well in the first half and we lost our fluency in the second half, but despite that we had the chances to score two and three."