Deeney takes dig 
at gutless Gunners

Watford captain tells Wenger to stop complaining about 'scandalous' penalty

Arsene Wenger believes a "scandalous" penalty was the main reason why his Arsenal side ended up losing 2-1 at Watford at Vicarage Road yesterday morning (Singapore time).

The Gunners led at half-time through a rare goal from German defender Per Mertesacker, but the complexion of the game changed in the second half when Mesut Oezil failed to convert a simple chance to double the lead.

Within a minute, Hector Bellerin was adjudged to have impeded Richarlison and referee Neil Swarbrick awarded a penalty which Watford substitute Troy Deeney converted.

Tom Cleverley capped the hosts' fightback with a stoppage-time winner.

After the match, Watford captain Deeney mocked Wenger's complaints and insisted that Arsenal should be more concerned with the way they were bullied into the surrendering the lead by Watford's physical approach.

"I've heard Wenger already blaming (the decision) as the reason why they lost," Deeney said.

"I'm not going to be the one to tell Mr Wenger about himself, but there's a reason why they lost and it wasn't because of one penalty.

"I'll have to watch what I say. It's (having) a bit of cojones, a bit of nuts.

"Whenever I play Arsenal, I'll go up and think, 'Let me whack the first one and see who wants it'.

"I came on and jumped with (Per) Mertesacker. I didn't even have to jump, actually - I nodded it down.

"The crowd gets up and thinks, 'Yeah, we've got somebody who can win it' - and they all just backed off.

"For me as a player, I just think, 'Happy days'. That's my strength.

"I know I'm not technically gifted like they are, not as quick but, if you want to fight with me, I'm going to beat you all day."

The win lifted Marco Silva's Hornets into fourth place in the Premier League on a day when Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea also all dropped points.

Arsenal boss Wenger was convinced Richarlison dived to deceive the referee.

Measures are in place this season for the authorities to punish simulation retrospectively and it will be interesting to see if action is taken against the Brazilian.

"It's a scandalous decision, but what can we do? Nothing," Wenger complained.

"I believe that we had many many danger situations where we could have scored but didn't.

"We were unlucky with the penalty, it was a bit ridiculous. Then we panicked. And we stand there with defeat.

"We dropped the level a bit in the second half. We lost our fluency a little. We had the chances to score two and three."

Richarlison could be handed a two-match ban if found guilty of diving, a decision that would be made by a three-man panel consisting of a former match official, a former manager and an ex-player, and would have to be unanimous.

Former Premier League referee Graham Poll certainly felt there was a case to answer.

"It is as clear an example of diving as you can see," he said. "I wouldn't blame Swarbrick. I would blame Richarlison for diving and deceiving."

Deeney was convinced that the referee got the controversial penalty call correct.

"I know Hector, he's a good lad, but that's a penalty and, the other way round, he'd be screaming for a penalty," he said. - WIRE SERVICES