Penalty decision puzzles Wenger
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he could not understand why Dutch referee Pieter Vink did not award his side a penalty against Liverpool in Wednesday's 1-1 draw in the Champions League quarterfinals.
Wenger said Arsenal should have had a penalty early in the second half at the Emirates Stadium when Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt appeared to pull Aleksandr Hleb back by his shoulder.
"It is difficult to understand why he did not give a penalty," Wenger told a news conference after the first leg tie. "It definitely looked 100 per cent like a penalty to me."
Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez said the television replays he had been shown were inconclusive.
"It was difficult to tell," he said. "You don't get penalties like that in England, it is not very clear."
Benitez added that the timing of Dirk Kuyt's first half equaliser was crucial, coming just three minutes after Emmanuel Adebayor rose unchallenged to head Arsenal into the lead.
"If you concede a goal against Arsenal it is really important to score as soon as you can," he said.
"The away goal was very important for us. We are in a good position with the home game to come at Anfield in front of our own supporters.
"However it will still be very difficult for us. Arsenal are a very good team and it is going to be very tough."
Kuyt, who was Benitez's man of the match, said the second leg atmosphere at Anfield will be a big advantage for the 2005 champions.
"Everybody knows what European nights are like at Anfield. We have shown that we are really good in that situation. Arsenal are a great side but we have shown we can do special things at Anfield," the Dutch striker told Sky Sports.
Wenger, whose team now need to overcome Liverpool's away goal when they meet at Anfield next week, was baffled that his side had failed to win.
"In a game like that you do not create 20 chances you create four or five and we did. But we also had so much possession it was frightening to just finish 1-1. Their goal was like a thunderstorm that went through the side. It was a big blow for us."
"They defended very well, very deep...but we are in a battle of survival with them, and the best team will win."