By support

27th Dec, 2016 | 11:13am

Wenger delivers verdict on Perez and Gabriel bust-up

By Emma Sanders

Arsene Wenger has spoken out after Lucas Perez and Gabriel were involved in a bust-up at the end of the 1-0 victory against West Brom.

The Arsenal boss claimed the duo are “very close friends” and blamed the “South American temper” for the on-field argument.

Gabriel appeared to be frustrated at Perez’ lack of work-rate in the dying minutes of the game as Arsenal held on to secure all three points in a close encounter.

It is unusual to see Wenger’s players reacting with such frustration but the manager played down concerns, claiming the argument has already been forgotten.

“I don’t know what it is about. I didn’t see it as well. But they have the South American temper, you know and that can sometimes happen,” said Wenger, as reported by the Evening Standard.

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“I don’t think that anything bad happened. They are two good friends, two very close to each other so that is already forgotten now.”

Arsenal’s victory meant they remain within touching distance of the league title despite trailing Chelsea by nine points in the Premier League.

Olivier Giroud started the clash against West Brom and scored the game’s only goal but it took until the 86th minute for the striker to head home Mesut Ozil’s cross.

It was Arsenal’s third victory in five games after they suffered defeats against Everton and Manchester City prior to the Christmas period.

The win helped Arsenal draw level with Liverpool on points in the league table but they could slip behind if the Merseysider’s record a victory against Stoke on Tuesday evening.

Arsenal’s next clash is against Crystal Palace on Sunday when they kick-start the new year at the Emirates.

In other Arsenal news, Stan Collymore predicted the clash against West Brom.