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It could be a payback time for 'forced penalty', Wenger warns Rooney

Posted By: Staff

London, Jan. 30 (ANI): Ahead of their clash with Manchester United on Sunday, Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has warned Wayne Rooney that he will have to pay back for the controversial penalty of 2004.

Rooney and Arsenal veteran Sol Campbell were involved in a hugely-controversial incident which ended The Invincibles' 49-game unbeaten run when Campbell was alleged to have tripped Rooney in the penalty area. United went on to win the game 2-0.

"I don't agree with it. Sol Campbell did not touch him at all," The Sun quoted Wenger, as saying.

Rooney was also at the centre of spot-kick controversy when United beat the Gunners 2-1 back in August as he went down just before Manuel Almunia made contact.

"You know how strikers are. There is no angel. They play a game. If you look at the penalty at Old Trafford this year you cannot say it wasn't a penalty because Almunia really goes for it," Wenger said.

"The ball was already out and Rooney took advantage of the fact Almunia had dived. You can say that it is intelligent. But the border between intelligence and starting to cheat, every striker plays with that," he added.

"You have two games, one with the opponent and one with the rules and the referee and you try to extend that to your advantage. It's not cheating, it is being a striker, but you always have to push a little bit."

Wenger said it was nonsense to suggest Rooney could only perform in England and not Spain.

"Rooney can frankly play abroad. He has all the ingredients of a modern player plus the mental and British commitment. I don't question his talent at all - he can play anywhere in the world - but that doesn't mean he'll make the difference on Sunday," Wenger said. (ANI)

Story first published: Saturday, January 30, 2010, 14:35 [IST]
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