Football: Wenger's Pop at Ref

Article excerpt

ARSENE WENGER found himself wrapped up in another red card storm last night.

But this time he SAW the incident and he BACKED the opposition star who was sent to the dressing room.

Wenger, famous for missing so many controversial incidents, reckons Farnborough defender Christian Lee should not have been dismissed.

The defender, known as Popeye, had his big day ruined when referee Alan Wiley was left with no option but to send him off for a professional foul.

But Frenchman Wenger, who is chasing another double, said later: "I think common sense would say it shouldn't have been a sending-off.

"The referee is in a position where he had to apply the rules, but it's just a pity for the game he had to go.

"In this kind of FA Cup tie, it was important to start well and get the early goal - which Sol did.

"In the second half we enjoyed it. They will never forget the game because they got the goal at Highbury and they can be proud of what they did."

Striker Rocky Baptiste, 28, who started his career at Chelsea, seized his chance to shine in his side's 90 minutes of fame by scoring the minnows' goal.

But Arsenal scored five, with Sol Campbell, Francis Jeffers and Dennis Bergkamp among those on the scoresheet.

The Conference side, who had effectively signed their own suicide note when the fourth round tie was switched to Arsenal, certainly had a day to remember off the pitch. …