Neville: Ref right to dismiss Djourou

Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes referee Lee Probert was right to send off Johan Djourou in Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Fulham.

Football News: Lee Probert.

Wenger slams referee after loss

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left fuming on the touchline as his Gunners conceded two goals in the final remaining minutes of their 2-1 loss to Fulham at Craven Cottage.

Steve Sidwell and Bobby Zamora scored to secure victory for the home side but Wenger believes the catalyst for their defeat came with Johan Djourou's red card for a second bookable offence 12 minutes before time.

He argued that neither of Djourou's challenges were worthy of a yellow card.

Ex-United right-back Neville, who was commenting on the game in his new role as a pundit for Sky Sports, disagreed.

"The referee had no option on both of them. I think he made the right decision," he told Monday Night Football.

"On the first one the ball was played down the line and Djourou seems to stand on Dembele's feet. Any challenge from behind now, particularly with your studs up, is risking either a yellow or a red card.

"Djourou was too rash, he dived in when he didn't need to because Dembele wasn't going anywhere. The referee had no option.

"On the second one, Per Mertesacker should have put his foot through the ball. The centre-half was trying to dribble out at 1-0.

"Then Djourou pulled him back and leaves him no option. He was scrambling to get back, put his arm on Zamora's shoulder, he went down.

"I don't see what other decision the referee could give other than two yellow cards."

However, Neville did agree with Wenger that Arsenal should have been awarded a penalty when former Gunners defender Philippe Senderos appeared to trip Gervinho in the box.

"They should have had a penalty," he said.

"The sympathy I have with referees - and I'm sure Arsene Wenger doesn't have that same level of sympathy - is that at full speed when I watched it first time it looked like Gervinho had just lost control.

"He lost control quite a lot during this match and it looked like the ball went away from him as he went down.

"But when we really slow it down you see Senderos come across and that's where Arsene Wenger has a point - but we need to see it at that speed to get it right.

"Senderos clipped him with his left foot and it's definitely a penalty, but we need to see that at slow motion to get it right. That's the sympathy I would have with the referee.

"He has got that one wrong, the referee, and Wenger is right."

The 2-1 defeat to Fulham denied the Gunners what would have been a fifth victory in six away Barclays Premier League games.



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