Arsene Wenger Reacts To Danny Welbeck’s Diving Incident

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has suggested that he will give an honest feeling on Danny Welbeck’s dive after going through the situation once more. The England international appeared to entice the referee into rewarding a penalty during the Europa League round of 16 tie against AC Milan on Thursday night.

The Gunners had won the first-leg by a comfortable 2-0 scoreline at San Siro, and they appeared on course to secure another shutout at the Emirates until Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring from long-range. With the game, evenly balanced, Welbeck went down from a light challenge from Ricardo Rodriguez in the box, and the penalty which changed the complexion of the game.

Welbeck managed to equalise from the spot-kick to give the Gunners a 3-1 lead on aggregate at the interval, and they continued to exhibit their dominance thereafter with Granit Xhaka and Welbeck once more adding to the scoresheet. Though the Gunners won by a 5-1 aggregate scoreline, the match was overshadowed by Welbeck’s incident, which emphasised Wenger’s previous claim that English players are masters at diving.

Speaking after the game, Wenger refused to criticise Welbeck, though he admitted that he will look into the replays to give an honest feeling on the situation, he said: "I haven't seen it again. I will watch it again and give my honest feeling about it. I will give him my honest feeling about it as well [if I view it as a dive], don't worry. There's two things: was it a penalty or not? I don't know. The Italian players were unhappy with it. I can understand that, because I don't really know what it was."

The UEFA are likely to look into the incident on Monday, and they could potentially be a retrospective ban, though it is a rarity at this stage of the competition. Arsenal face Russian outfit CSKA Moscow in the quarter-final stage of the Europa League in early April.