I warned Coquelin at half-time – Wenger

By Isoccer Staff

Arsene Wenger admitted he has “big regrets” after Francis Coquelin was sent off for Arsenal against Tottenham Hotspur in the north London derby.

Arsenal took the lead in the first half after Aaron Ramsey flicked home from close range. However, down to 10 men in the second half, Spurs scored two goals in two minutes to take the lead, before Alexis Sanchez rescued a point for Wenger’s side with just 14 minutes to go.

Despite a valuable point at White Hart Lane, which has kept the Gunners’ hopes of maintaining their title push alive, Wenger was frustrated with Coquelin’s dismissal, particularly after warning the player at half-time.

“I warned [Coquelin] at half-time because he had a yellow already but I think that Dier deserved a second yellow as well.
That could have changed the game,” Arsenal boss Wenger told BT Sport.

“I am proud of the spirit, but there are big regrets, going down to 10 men was the big regret for the day and it was hard to take. We told Francis Coquelin at half-time because he had yellow already but Eric Dier deserved a second yellow as well and that could have changed the game.

“I never questioned the character of the team, when you lose you have to respond on the pitch and we did that in a convincing way.”

Coquelin’s first yellow came in the 29th minute when he was penalised for hand ball, but it was the Frenchman’s second booking which could have easily been avoided. The defensive-midfielder lunged in on Harry Kane, who easily lifted the ball over Coquelin’s leg and drew the foul in the 55th minute.

While Spurs were well in the game they had failed to really threaten the Arsenal goal before the red card, but stuck two past stand-in ‘keeper David Ospina just five minutes after their opponents were reduced to 10 men.

A point is certainly not a bad result for the Gunners, particularly after their defeat at home to Swansea last time out. Wenger’s side remain three points behind their local rivals after the game, though the draw means Leicester City have the opportunity to increase their lead at the top of the table to five points, should they beat Watford today.

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