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Wenger wants VAR for games as Ferguson insists his record will be unbeaten


Arsenal’s French manager Arsene Wenger /AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE / AFP PHOTO / FRANCK FIFE

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Video Assistant Referees (VAR) are required in the Premier League after his side were denied victory at West Brom by a controversial late penalty.

Alexis Sanchez’s free-kick deflected in via James McClean to put the Gunners on the brink of victory at The Hawthorns as Wenger ticked onto 811 Premier League games – a new record.

However, Mike Dean awarded the Baggies a penalty late in the piece after Kieran Gibbs’ cross hit Calum Chambers’ arm from point-blank range.


Arsenal fumed at Dean post-match, Petr Cech earning a yellow card, and Wenger launched a scathing attack on the standard of officiating.

“What can we do? We can talk and talk but it doesn’t change,” Wenger told Sky Sports.

“The Premier League doesn’t face the problem, not with the schedule and not with the referees. Years ago, the referees turned professional but the level doesn’t go up.

“In my opinion, yes, it is 100 per cent wrong. It is difficult to accept. It is not the first time, but it is best not to talk about it. We just have to deal with it.”

VAR technology will be used for the first time in a competitive match in England when Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion face each other in the FA Cup next month.

Wenger was in no doubt that VAR would have spared his team, adding: “I think it will make a difference. We want to be the best league in the world so it is time to use it. Other leagues do.”

Opposite number Alan Pardew freely admitted that his side had enjoyed a significant rub of the green with the decision.

He told Sky Sports: “When you keep talking about doing the right things and application and earning luck, and it doesn’t happen, it’s hard, but we got it today, at last.

“The decision’s a tough one on Arsenal. I’ve seen it and, wow, he could’ve not give it. But we deserved the break.”

Meanwhile, Alex Ferguson believes Arsene Wenger’s record for Premier League games managed will never be beaten.

Arsenal boss Wenger clocked up 811 Premier League fixtures in the dugout during Sunday’s controversial 1-1 draw with West Brom, surpassing the benchmark previously set by his old foe Ferguson at Manchester United.

Wenger is widely seen as the last of a dying breed, having managed the Gunners for more than 20 years, into an era that has seen sackings become much more commonplace.

And the Old Trafford icon believes Wenger’s tally, wherever it ends, will stand the test of time.

“I applaud Arsene on surpassing my record of managing 810 Premier League games,” Ferguson said via the League Managers’ Association.

“It is a fantastic milestone which has required the highest standards of dedication and professional management to achieve. I doubt his record, whatever it turns out to be, will ever be beaten.

“Congratulations on a truly remarkable career and great service to football and Arsenal FC.”

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