Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger continues to claim Eden Hazard cheated to win a penalty in last week’s Premier League draw with Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium.
Hazard went down under a challenge from Hector Bellerin, the Blues winger picking himself up to convert the resulting penalty in a thrilling 2-2 draw.
Wenger repeatedly labelled the decision by match official Anthony Taylor “farcical” after the game and he will face Hazard again on Wednesday, with the Gunners taking on Chelsea in the first leg of their EFL Cup semi-final.
Hazard has been passed fit after he was left out of Saturday’s 0-0 FA Cup draw at Norwich City due to a minor calf injury and Wenger, who is serving a three-match touchline ban as a result of separate comments about Premier League refereeing, continued to criticise the Belgian.
“I questioned the decision of the referee,” said Wenger. “Then, we are objective. You look at the picture.
“You see how Hazard goes down and you see how quickly he takes the penalty when he gets the penalty.
“If he was so injured, why did he take the penalty? He made more of it, [like a] professional, basically, and shouts. I can understand that.
“I do not blame Hazard. He acted in a very professional way to get the penalty for his team, which he did well.”
Wenger will be forced to watch from the stands at Stamford Bridge after being charged and fined by the Football Association having confronted referee Mike Dean following his side’s Premier League draw at West Brom.
And the Frenchman recounted an unhappy memory of when he was previously banned from the touchline for a game at Chelsea.
“I was in the middle of the crowd. [It was] very uncomfortable,” Wenger said of last season’s 3-1 loss at Chelsea in the league.
“It was not a pleasant experience. But at Chelsea you have to go on the other side to go in the directors’ box. So the time [it takes to] get around the stadium, it’s 10 minutes played.
“I sat next to a guy. He says ‘Hello, how are you?’ And I said, ‘Good afternoon.’ He said, ‘I’m your gardener.’ And I didn’t know him.”