Arsene Wenger responds to ‘silly, disrespectful’ Jose Mourinho

‘The only thing I know is it’s more embarrassing for Chelsea than for me’

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline during the FA Cup Fifth Round match tie against Liverpool at  Emirates Stadium. Photograph:  Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline during the FA Cup Fifth Round match tie against Liverpool at Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Sun, Feb 16, 2014, 19:04

Arsene Wenger has hit back at Jose Mourinho’s “silly, disrespectful remark” regarding his achievements as Arsenal manager, claiming the comments bring “embarrassment” on Chelsea.

The Gunners boss was speaking after seeing his side reach the FA Cup quarter-finals following a 2-1 win over Liverpool, courtesy of goals from Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski.

The result was a perfect response to not only Arsenal’s 5-1 loss to Liverpool a week ago, but also to Mourinho’s barbed claim on Friday that Wenger was a “specialist in failure”.

The Portuguese made the comments in response to earlier ones from Wenger in which the Frenchman claimed any team which says they are not in the title race — as Mourinho has done countless times this season — does so out of fear of falling short of their ambition.

Wenger insists his comments were not aimed at Mourinho and slammed his rival for his controversial riposte.

“I do not want to go into that silly, disrespectful remark. I never spoke about him in my press conference and I will not start,” Wenger told BT Sport. “The only thing I know is it’s more embarrassing for Chelsea than for me.”

Reflecting on Sunday’s win over Liverpool, which tees up a home last-eight meeting with Everton, Wenger added: “I’m very proud of the way we responded to the huge defeat we had last week, and that was the most pleasing thing. “To win makes you stronger, and that was important today.

“The FA Cup is always interesting, and now we have another big tie here. It will be an interesting game.”

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers felt his side were wrongly denied a certain penalty kick which could well have changed the outcome of the game. The visitors were awarded one penalty when Podolski tripped Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard converted, but it was another incident in the area that became the focus of much of the post-match analysis.

Referee Howard Webb ruled Oxlade-Chamberlain committed no foul when he went in hard on Suarez, although replays suggested otherwise. Rodgers felt there was only one decision.

“We’re bitterly disappointed not to get another penalty,” he said. “It was probably more clear and blatant than the first one. The second one is clear. I’m not sure if it was just after [the first one being awarded], but it was a clear penalty.

“Luis got a touch on the ball and young Alex has taken him out.

“It was a strange decision. It was a penalty... and it was a clear one.”

Reflecting on the game overall, Rodgers added: “I thought the best team lost. The very least we deserved was a replay.

“We’re disappointed with the goals, apart from that we were a threat, we played with real confidence and belief.”

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