Arsenal boss Wenger: Ref didn't favour Liverpool

Arsene Wenger has rejected suggestions that Liverpool received preferential treatment from the referee on Wednesday night.

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The Arsenal boss saw his side denied a potentially match-winning second half penalty after the Reds' Dutch forward Dirk Kuyt appeared to pull back Gunners winger Alexander Hleb inside the area.

The referee for the midweek UEFA Champions League clash was from a town close to where Kuyt was brought up, which has led to suggestions that he handed his countryman an underserved advantage.

"No, not at all," he said. "I think if you are a referee, like a manager, you want a clear game and to do your job well.

"I have no suspicion at all, just if you ask me if it was a penalty, I cannot say 'no' because it was a penalty.

"Of course he didn't see the penalty and only he can explain why, but I have no suspicion, and I think it is very important to keep that out of the game because if it starts like that, how will it finish?

"You have to accept that the referee has made the wrong decision and that he was honest."

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