Manchester City and Arsenal share points

 Crystal Palace 0-0 Manchester City. The run is over for Guardiola’s men and the top flight record is set at 18th consecutive wins, one shy from the all-time record in Europe accomplished by Bayern Munich in the 2013-14 season also with the Catalan manager. Goalkeeper Ederson actually saved the point for City by stopping Crystal Palace’s penalty chance. 

He comments on the draw:

 “We are going to lose games as players will get tired. We have problems with [Benjamin] Mendy and other players, we just have to recover well and remain mentally strong.We set a record in Premier League but next one we will try to beat. We are in December, there are lots of games to play. 

We set such high standards and have not got the win but full credit to the lads for the standards we set. It’s good in a way to drop points to get us down to earth and get that motivation. A lot of teams defend deep with 10 men behind the ball. 

We have had to deal with a lot and have come out on top. Full credit to Crystal Palace. We can’t let those standards drop. We as a team and the manager won’t let that happen.” 

West Brom 1-1 Arsenal. For Arsenal, the draw has a bitter taste since a late penalty was awarded to WBA on a very controversial hand-ball. Earlier Alexis Sanchez thought he had given the three points when his direct free-kick was deflected by WBA defender less than 10 minutes before the end of the game. Coach Wenger was furious on the referee’s decision to award WBA a penalty and he expresses his frustration:

“I’m angry because we have seen the same things again and again and I said down there that we have fought very hard for the referees to become professional many years ago with David Dein and we did a good job to allow them to become professional and I see no improvement.

At the end of the day there are two countries in Europe where there are professional referees, in Italy and in England, but not one English referee will go to the World Cup, but everything is alright. We cannot say a word against because they are untouchable, it is the case and the truth as well, it is a reason for it. It’s not only me who judges them.

I don’t want to waste my time and we have to live with the decision. You will go home and have your normal thing and we have to live with it and swallow it for the next game. There are two things that are not normal in the Premier League, the schedule and the referees. Maybe we haven’t played well enough, that is down for you to judge, but with those two things you cannot have West Brom with five days to prepare while we have three.
I am ready to play every day as long as our opponent has had the same recovery time over Christmas, it’s not normal. We have the same problem against Chelsea, they played yesterday, we played today. They have one day more”.

GK Cech was very frustrated with the ref’s decision:

“Every time we have a meeting with the referees prior to the season and it comes to this point where the player is too close to the ball and he has no chance to react. He has his hands by his side and it can never be a penalty.

The referee gives this with two minutes to go and I asked him why he changed his opinion to give a penalty, when every time we have this meeting, it’s clear that they say this is not a penalty. I got booked as well and I think that’s the most disappointing, because he could have told me ‘come later’, but he just gave me a yellow card. I was not rude, I just asked the question and I think this disappoints me even more.”