Wenger defends youngster after Arsenal defeat

Arsene Wenger criticised referee Graham Scott and refused to blame Konstantinos Mavropanos after Arsenal’s 3-1 defeat at Leicester.

Rookie defender Mavropanos was dismissed after just 15 minutes at the King Power Stadium when he brought down Kelechi Iheanacho.

The striker only put the Foxes 1-0 ahead 92 seconds earlier while Wenger also disagreed with Scott’s decision to award a late penalty after Henrikh Mkhitaryan felled Demarai Gray.

Jamie Vardy scored the spot kick and Riyad Mahrez added a last-minute strike to render Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s equaliser meaningless.

“It’s a creative, imaginative aspect from the referee. We watched it again, it’s a nice dive but it’s not a penalty,” said Wenger.

“I disagree with the red card because (Rob) Holding would have caught this ball and he (Mavropanos) was not the last man.

“This boy has 20 top level games, it takes so much mental energy at the start of your career sometimes it takes time to recover (from previous games).

“It’s frustrating, I believe we played a great game, with 10 v 11 we showed quality, spirit and overall it’s very sad.

“A decision went against us and we are upset because we lost a game we shouldn’t have lost.”

The boss also confirmed Jack Wilshere, who was left out after his wife went into labour, is close to signing a new Gunners deal.

“I’ve given him only one (bit of) advice, stay at the club. The noises I have heard is that he will do it,” he added.

“I hope that will be concluded very quickly and he can go to the World Cup with England and win the World Cup.”

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