Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger furious at award of late Liverpool penalty

Frenchman tells players to continue to fight as title hopes fade but insists referee should only have played eight minutes of extra time at the end of the game

Arsene Wenger could not hide his annoyance after watching his Arsenal side concede a 101st minute penalty to Liverpool as the two sides drew 1-1 at the Emirates.

The game seemed to be heading for a goalless draw until Jay Spearing felled Cesc Fabregas in the seventh minute of injury time for a penalty, that Robin van Persie converted, to seemingly keep them in the hunt, with Manchester United, for title glory.

However, there was to be one final twist left in the game and it came in the 101st minute when a Luis Suarez free-kick hit the wall and deflected away from the goal. Lucas chased after it, only to be bundled over by Emmanuel Eboue for another penalty.

Dirk Kuyt stepped up and fired home the kick that surely all but extinguished Arsenal’s title hopes.

After the game, Wenger appeared incredulous that the penalty was given.

"But extra time was only eight minutes,” he appealed on Sky Sports. “I wanted to get the players away from the referee and after having watched it again I don't think it was a penalty. At all.

“The referee [thought he] saw a penalty, so it was a penalty. What can you do?

“We have to continue to play and fight until the last minute [of the season]. That's what we are about and that's what we want to show.

“We have players who are ambitious and want to do as well as we can. We had disappointments in August and we had to bounce back. That's what we will do.”

Wenger also insisted his side felt "hard done by" at the end of the game but he insisted the Gunners would continue their title fight despite the disappointment.

“It was a game where Liverpool defended and defended and we had to throw everything forward," he added.

“It's not easy to keep a clean sheet. I feel we were hard done by in the end because time was over by three minutes and you were told that just after the free-kick it was game over but we have to take it and continue to fight.

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