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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 11, 2007

Jewell blasts ref Dowd after Emirates defeat

Wigan manager Paul Jewell blamed referee Phil Dowd for costing his side victory and potentially £50million in the 2-1 defeat at Arsenal.

The Premiership strugglers were leading 1-0 through Denny Landzaat's long-range strike when Emile Heskey appeared to be brought down on the edge of the penalty area by Mathieu Flamini late in the second half.

However, Dowd ruled no foul had been committed and Arsenal equalised moments later from a Fitz Hall own goal before Tomas Rosicky snatched victory with five minutes to go.

'I thought we should have had a penalty which would hopefully have made it 2-0,' said Jewell, whose side are just five points above the relegation zone.

'It is penalty. He (Flamini) puts his hand on his shoulder. Why would Emile want to go down? Some of the officials don't understand the game.

'He (Dowd) has cost our team the points. It could cost us £50million.'

The Latics boss was also unhappy his side were temporarily reduced to 10 men for Arsenal's equaliser - which was set up by an offside Flamini - as midfielder Josip Skoko's return after treatment was delayed by Dowd.

'One of our players was having treatment, Dowd didn't let him back on and then it looked like offside for their goal,' he added on Sky Sports 1.

'I don't like blaming referees but why is our player not allowed back on the pitch after receiving treatment? Even the fourth official doesn't know why he has not been allowed back on and if the officials don't understand each other we've got no chance.

'I'll be in trouble (for his comments) but no doubt these fellas (the officials) will have a game next week.'

Despite his criticism of the officials, Jewell was pleased with his team's performance.

'Whatever we got would have been a bonus. I thought our players were great today,' he said.

'We have had a sticky run in the last few weeks but we have to show that [determination] for the next 12 games and if we do that we will be comfortable.'

Gunners chief Arsene Wenger hailed the determination of his team.

'I felt we deserved it because we did fight until the last second and we have shown again fantastic fighting spirit and character,' he said.

'It was a good Wigan side and they could have won as well, they hit the post at 1-0 and after that there were one or two situations that could have gone both ways.'

Asked whether he thought Wigan could have had a penalty, Wenger told Sky Sports 1: 'Maybe, yes. I didn't see it again. It was difficult to see and very difficult to say. The referee was close. It's not for me to decide that.'

Jens Lehmann is out of contention for the Carling Cup final with Chelsea this month after being booked for time-wasting, though Wenger admits Manuel Almunia would have started that match anyway.

'I would not have played him (Lehmann) anyway.

'I feel he wanted to show that we can also waste time and the referee didn't like it.'

Rosicky admits the Gunners must learn to start games better.

'We need to try to improve that, because it's always difficult to try to come back in every game.

'We got the three points today but we know we could have done much better.

'It's probably the closest to losing the unbeaten record here but Wigan played quite well and have some good players. They are not easy games in this league.

'It's always great when you can turn a game around but we need to start better from the beginning.'

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