Arsene Wenger defends Alexis Sanchez from diving accusations after Arsenal beat Leicester

Mark Critchley
The Independent
Alexis Sanchez was yellow-carded for his part in the spat with Christian Fuchs: Getty
Alexis Sanchez was yellow-carded for his part in the spat with Christian Fuchs: Getty

Arsene Wenger has defended Alexis Sanchez from accusations of play acting by claiming that his player was shown a yellow card in the final moments of Arsenal's narrow win over Leicester City because he was not aware of rules regarding defending against throw-ins.

As the visitors chased an equaliser after Robert Huth's late own goal, Sanchez obstructed Christian Fuchs' attempt at a long throw by standing directly in front of the Leicester full-back.

Fuchs, angered by the Chilean's conduct, threw the ball at Sanchez and hit him on the shoulder, only for the Arsenal forward to go down clutching his face after a short pause.

Players from both sides surrounded Mike Jones, the match referee, who eventually cautioned Sanchez and allowed Leicester to re-take the throw.

Wenger, who believes Sanchez was carded for encroaching on the throw rather than simulation, claimed in his post-match press conference that his player was ignorant of rules regarding throw-ins and that the referee should have told him to move away.

"I don't see where he has been hit but I just saw that in the first two attempts, when Fuchs tried to throw the ball in, Sanchez stood next to him and I think he didn't know he had to be further away," he said.

"As well, I must say the referee didn't tell him... so he thought he was in the right position. After that, he got a yellow card because he didn't respect the rule. I accept that."

Fifa's Laws of the Game dictates that opponents must be no closer than two metres to a player taking a throw-in. Referees also must first tell an encroaching player to move away and only show a yellow card if the player fails to retreat.

Jones appeared to instruct Sanchez to move away twice from distance, only for the Chilean to ignore his instructions. Jones eventually gave Sanchez a yellow card, but only after he was struck by Fuchs' throw.

Wenger did not comment on Sanchez's apparent simulation, claiming to "not see" where the ball struck his player.

"I was looking in the box because I thought the danger is not Alexis, but the danger is what happens in the box," he said, before adding: "I will check on video."

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