Arsene Wenger hit out at a “scandalous” penalty decision after Arsenal lost their way and slumped to a 2-1 defeat at Watford.
Arsenal were leading through Per Mertesacker’s first-half goal and had multiple chances to wrap up the three points before Watford made their comeback through Troy Deeney’s spot-kick, which came after referee Neil Swarbrick adjudged Hector Bellerin to have fouled Richarlison.
“The penalty? It was never a penalty. It’s unbelievable to lose a game because of that,” Wenger told Arsenal.com.
“It’s unbelievably hard to take because we had the opportunity to win the game. We played very well in the first half and in the second half we dropped our level a little bit. Physically we were not at the same level and on top of that we missed chances to score the second goal.
“After that we were punished by a bad refereeing decision. There’s a lot to swallow tonight and a lot to be really disappointed [about].”
Tom Cleverley capped the home side’s impressive comeback with an injury-time winner, and Wenger was disappointed in his side’s second half performance.
“[At 1-1 we should] be calmer and not lift the ball so much, play on the ground and focus more on the quality of our game’”
“I think we became nervous and we lost our composure when it was 1-1.”