Arsenal (briefly) moved to the top of the Premier League table on Saturday with a 3-1 win at home to Stoke City.
A Charlie Adam penalty put the visitors in front at the Emirates, but a Theo Walcott effort just before half time and further goals from Mesut Özil and Alex Iwobi ensured the three points for Arsène Wenger’s side.
However, there was another major talking point from the game, one that did not even occur on the pitch. At one point in the game, Wenger remonstrated with fourth official Paul Tierney over Lee Mason’s decision to award Stoke their penalty.
At which point the Arsenal manager put his hand on Tierney’s chest in what some are deeming to be a push:
My manager is a G !!! Wenger wants some elbow room pic.twitter.com/FSW6YH5AmH
— M1Ö (@MesutOzilClass) December 10, 2016
From that angle (from any angle, in fact) it is inconclusive as to whether or not Wenger has pushed Tierney out of his technical area, or if in fact he is using physical means to explain another decision out on the pitch that he has a problem with.
Of course, there are those who see this as an open-and-shut case of Wenger pushing an official (the words “José” and “Mourinho” appear quite a lot here…) and expect the book to be thrown at him:
It’s ok ref, arsene only pushed the fourth official. Kick a bottle get sent off, push an official not even word given ????
— Joshua Hine (@HineySCFC) December 10, 2016
Why is it arsene allow to push a fourth official yet Mourinho get sent off. God FA needs sorting #mufc
— United Army (@armyunited30) December 10, 2016
— Chris Savare (@FootieSociety) December 10, 2016
So wenger gets away with this yet mourinho kicks a bottle at no one and gets sent to the stands. Double standards. https://t.co/afVEuMTHkI
— Michy (@_elhajos) December 12, 2016
Only Wenger can push Ref ?? & Hose a.k.a. Jose can’t even talk about them. https://t.co/eb4zjS8g2Y
— Aashish O’Connor (@ArsenalToGlory) December 11, 2016
Wenger pushed the 4th referee nothing happened. Imagine if that was Mourinho pic.twitter.com/orJVS9rrlH
— Ali (@TheBeardedRaul) December 10, 2016
#Footballliveng did you see Wenger push d 4th official? If it was Jose he wld have been sent off.
— Timothy Dehinbo (@TMT_DEHINBO) December 10, 2016
Wenger is expected to escape FA sanction for the incident, with the Frenchman highly unlikely to be charged.