LONDON - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that referee Howard Webb was wrong to send off striker Emmanuel Adebayor against Liverpool on Sunday and that the red card cost his side two points after a 1-1 draw. Adebayor, who had been booked for a challenge in the first half, was sent off after 62 minutes when he raised a foot in a challenge with Liverpool's Spanish defender Alvaro Arbeloa, and then also raised an arm in the challenge. "It was the wrong decision," Wenger told a news conference. "He should not have been sent off, and it cost us two points. I think we would have won the game if we had had 11 men for the last 30 minutes." Somewhat ironically, he then added, "I saw Arbeloa afterwards and his face was blue all over." He was also upset that his skipper and playmaker Cesc Fabregas injured medial knee ligaments at the end of the first half and now faces one to three weeks out. "It is a blow, you don't want to lose a player like that," Wenger added, although he did not accept that the draw had ended Arsenal's title aspirations. Fifth-placed Arsenal are eight points behind leaders Liverpool. "The result has not cost us the title, the title race is over in May, not in December and we will fight for it while it is mathemetically possible. Liverpool have already dropped eight points at home, they could drop another eight in the second half of the season." Liverpool assistant manager Sammy Lee told reporters he had kept in touch with boss Rafael Benitez throughout the match and that the Spaniard was pleased with the result. Liverpool's manager watched the game on television at home after recovering from kidney stone surgery and Lee said "he was in control throughout the match. "He could not travel as he has been in a bit of pain this week, but he was very pleased for the boys and very pleased we have come away from Arsenal with a point."
21 December 2008
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