Arsenal's Francis Coquelin should have seen red - Palace boss Alan Pardew

LONDON -- Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew said Francis Coquelin should have been shown a red card during Arsenal's 2-1 victory at Selhurst Park, but Arsene Wenger accused the crowd of trying to influence the referee.

Coquelin was shown a yellow card for a foul on Yannick Bolasie on 41 minutes but escaped a second booking when he pulled back Wilfried Zaha shortly afterwards.

Referee Lee Mason enraged Palace players, officials and fans when keeping his card in his pocket after another foul on James McArthur in the 62nd minute, and the Arsenal midfielder was substituted moments later.

Pardew told the postmatch news conference: "I had a chat with Lee in the tunnel [at half-time] and we agreed that he shouldn't have been sent off -- you don't want that.

"But I said, 'That's his last chance -- he can't afford to make another challenge,' and he did. But [Mason] didn't make the call. He should have been sent off.

"Our bench thought he should have gone. Their bench did too, so taking him off was a natural reaction. The foul just before half-time was debatable, a cynical challenge, but give people the benefit of the doubt. But you can't make another one."

Wenger disagreed, and explained the reasons for the substitution.

"He didn't deserve a yellow card, but the pressure was on to get him sent off," the Arsenal boss said. "I had thought about it at half-time, when the pressure was already there. After the last foul I thought there was not much room now.

"Every time he intervened, the crowd were behind it and putting pressure on the referee. I didn't like to take him off after 60 minutes, but I didn't have much room."

Pardew was an observer last week at the Emirates when Arsenal lost 2-0 in their opening match to West Ham, and said the Gunners had been much improved since then, even if a Damien Delaney own goal won the match after goals from Olivier Girioud and Joel Ward.

Palace hit the Arsenal post at the start of the second half through new striker Connor Wickham.

"Particularly the first 15 minutes, when we made mistake after mistake, Arsenal were sharp," Pardew said.

"They were a lot more intelligent and sharper than at West Ham last week. But we made mistakes as well. When we got the equaliser we had a better shape and the game became a lot more balanced, and if Connor's effort goes in it would have been a different result.

"The margins are that fine."