Arsenal fell to Dinamo Zagreb in their opening game of the Champions League on Wednesday. Manager Arsene Wenger blames the referee for the 2-1 loss.
Wenger, 65, was critical of Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan’s decision to send off Olivier Giroud in the first half after getting two yellow cards.
“We were a bit unlucky tonight,” Wenger told The Daily Mirror. “I believe the first goal is offside. And the sending off is very harsh.
“Yes, he was rash. The first yellow is Giroud’s fault because he protested, even if it was not a foul against him. He should not have responded to the referee.
“The second, he is unlucky to touch the guy. I don’t think he saw him. It was accidental completely. I don’t understand the referee. It was not a second yellow. It has to be on purpose, a foul on purpose.”
Wenger also put some of the blame on his players and the way they played defensively.
“We have to look at ourselves. The second goal kills our game. On the corner we were guilty not to defend well. We were not at our best but nor was the referee.”
Dinamo coach Zoran Mamic didn’t agree with Wenger and supported Hategan.
“I am sure about the second yellow, the first one he was talking to the referee and that is why he got it,” Mamic said. “Before that he hit Ademi and then he was talking to the referee.”
Despite the defeat, Wenger remained positive about the rest of the tournament.
“Mathematically, we can qualify without any problem,” Wenger said. “If we produce our performances we want at home.
“Overall, I believe we have problems to start in every competition this season. We have had problems in the league and tonight in the Champions League but we can put that right in the next five games.”