during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal at Etihad Stadium on November 5, 2017 in Manchester, England.

The Frenchman stood by his initial accusations, but insisted that he never meant it in a negative way.

Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has not changed his opinion regarding Raheem Sterling’s controversial penalty, and even applauded the English winger for his ability to exploit the referees’ “naivety”.

Sterling went down in the box after being put under pressure from Nacho Monreal, winning a penalty, which was later on converted into a goal by Sergio Aguero. The situation left Wenger furious after the game, which was even worsened by City’s third goal, which came from an offside position.

However, Wenger has now taken a different approach towards the situation, stating that he meant everything as a compliment. The Frenchman was asked whether he would be happy with one of his players doing the same thing, to which he replied: “Of course, he used the naivety of the referee in a very positive way.” the Frenchman told beIN SPORTS.

“That’s why I said the referees don’t work, they don’t do their homework. Referees are professional in England, one of only a few countries where it’s a profession.

“Look at their schedule and look at how many will go to the World Cup, then you have the answer [to why they cannot do their “homework”].

“I didn’t say it [that Sterling dived] in a negative way, I said he used the fact that his foot was in front our defender to dive and he dived.

“In a few years he’ll say that too. In the heat of the moment of course he’ll deny it, but he used it well, using his position to get in front [of his marker].”