Arsène Wenger explains why he walked off at Anfield

• Gunners men respond angrily to Anfield defeat by fans’ walkout • Wenger defended fans by suggesting they should learn to shut up

Arsène Wenger has explained why he walked out of the stadium with his Arsenal players, as members of the home supporters left to stage a protest.

With 67 minutes of the final Premier League game against Liverpool having elapsed, Wenger was granted his first chance to address the issue after being harshly criticised for refusing to hold the cameras.

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Asked whether he went to the pitch to protest, the Frenchman said: “I wanted to see how things would develop but I did not come to protest.

“I came to express my dissatisfaction but not with the crowd but with our respect for the club, our respect for the fans who have stood behind us all the way up to the last day.

“I wanted to understand what had gone on and what I had to say to the players. I wanted to know where they have been with the support all these years.”

While Wenger was damning about some sections of the atmosphere at the final whistle, he added: “At the end of the day I’m sorry to see the fans booing. We are, in our ambitions, in there to have fun and there’s no more joy than to win games against Liverpool. That’s the difference between the clubs.”

Wenger also defended the fans’ right to show their disapproval following Saturday’s 3-1 defeat by Liverpool.

He said: “I understood why people would feel that and I have every respect for that. But I also think to some extent people forget that the fans were at the stadium from 7am until 10pm this week to make a bit of noise and make their voices heard – I expect them to shut up.”

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