Arsene Wenger flays ''very harsh'' Olivier Giroud send-off in Champions League

Arsene Wenger flays ''very harsh'' Olivier Giroud send-off in Champions League

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has termed forward Olivier Giroud`s send-off in Wednesday`s Champions League match against Dinamo Zagreb "very harsh" after his 10-man team lost the Group F contest at Zagreb`s Maksimir stadium.

Criticised for not being clinical enough in front of goal, Giroud`s frustration got the better of him when he was first booked for dissent after his reaction to the referee giving a foul against him.

He was eventually sent off after a tackle on Dinamo Zagreb`s Ivo Pinto in the 40th minute saw him pick up his second yellow card as Arsenal went on to lose 2-1.

Wenger insisted Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan was harsh in flashing the second yellow card.

"The first yellow card was Giroud`s fault because he protested, even if there was no foul against him. After that he should have not protested to the referee," the 65-year-old Wenger told reporters.

"His second yellow card was completely unlucky to touch the guy. I do not understand the referee.

"It was completely accidental. It happened and I think at that moment it was not a second yellow. It has to be a foul on purpose and it was not on purpose. The referee should have given several yellows tonight based on that.

"We were a bit unlucky. We had a lot of the ball and, as well, we had early chances. I believe the first goal is offside and after that, the sending-off is very harsh," he added.

Arsenal forward Theo Walcott was confident the team can put the setback behind them and advance from the group stage.

"We`ve still got a long Champions League run. We`ve had setbacks before and we`ve managed to bounce back from them," the England international said.

"We should be able to come back stronger. The manager will make sure that it`s put to bed in the changing room and that it will stay there," he added.