Arsene Wenger says referee was right to play advantage in Jay Rodriguez penalty incident

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger thought referee Bobby Madley was right to play advantage after West Brom were denied a penalty in their 2-0 loss at the Emirates.

West Brom felt aggrieved after Jay Rodriguez went down in the box under a challenge from Shkodran Mustafi, only for the forward to then get up and hit the post, before Jake Livermore somehow put the rebound wide.

Wenger, however, said the official was correct to play on after Rodriguez was tackled by the Arsenal centre-back.

“Mustafi tackled and touched the West Brom player, it could have been given and the referee left (gave) the advantage and I think rightly so as they were in a position to score and in the end they hit the post,” he said after the match.

“So that is the kind of decision that is difficult because if he does not give the advantage and they miss the penalty, people will say ‘why did he not give the advantage?'”

Overall, though, the Frenchman was delighted with his side’s performance, especially in the second half.

“In the first half they had a very direct and intense game to stop us playing,” said Wenger. “They were always dangerous on the break and with long balls.

“Overall in the second half I feel we dominated the game, it was one-way traffic in the second half.

“But as long as you do not score the second goal, knowing they are good on set pieces, you are always a bit on the nerves.”

Arsenal’s match winner on the night was Alexandre Lacazette, whose twin strikes either side of half-time saw his team move up to seventh in the Premier League.

The France international now has four league goals to his name following his club-record move from Lyon in the summer, with Wenger highlighting how quickly his compatriot has adapted to the demands of the Premier League.

“What is interesting with Lacazette is that he is getting stronger in every game and that is very positive,” he said. “He adapts to the physical demands here and technically he is intelligent and you could see on the goal he scored from the free-kick that on the rebound he was there. That is the quality of the strikers to score goals.”

There was more good news for Arsenal fans with Alexis Sanchez’s name on the team-sheet from the start, and his manager claimed the Chile forward is now back to his best after the stop-start nature to his season.

“He worked very hard, finished tired, but overall you could see he is back to his level,” said Wenger.