Arsene Wenger blamed referee Martin Atkinson after his Arsenal side threw away a lead to lose 2-1 at Manchester City on Sunday.
Wenger, who was criticised by Everton manager Ronald Koeman for airing gripes about officials earlier in the week, felt offsides were missed in the moves for both City’s goals at the Etihad Stadium.
Replays suggested Leroy Sane may have been marginally offside as he cancelled out Theo Walcott’s opener, and Wenger also raised question marks over the positioning of David Silva as Raheem Sterling struck the winner.
“We conceded two offside goals which is very difficult to accept in a game of that stature but, as it is well known, the referees are protected very well like the lions in the zoo, so we have to live with those decisions.”
Asked for clarification on his remarks, Wenger said:
“I want them to be very well protected, I want them to be safe, but if they could make the right decisions it would be even better.
“But it is too long a subject. I do not want to make referees the subject of the press conference.”
Wenger did bemoan his players’ performance as well, with the defeat coming after a similar defeat at Everton in midweek adding:
“I felt we were in control and it didn’t look like we could lose the game. We stopped them from creating chances and they looked a bit short of ideas to create chances.
“But we were caught cold in the second half and we dropped physically. Maybe we dropped a bit mentally when they equalised.
“They killed the game well, they have experience. They slowed it down and it was difficult to create the flow.”