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Arsenal's Wenger bemoans Barca defeat
March 9th, 2011 1:45AM

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TAGS:  england, spain, uefa champions league

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[UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE] Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola didn't exactly see the same game. After Barcelona won the second leg of their UEFA Champions League series to advance to the quarterfinals, 4-3, on aggregate, Wenger suggested the Gunners would have won if Robin van Persie had not been sent off. Guardiola appreciated the argument but noted Arsenal failed to string "three or four passes" together.

Arsenal had just evened the second leg at 1-1 on Sergio Busquets' own goal when van Persie was given his second yellow card for time-wasting after kicking a ball on goal after referee Massimo Busacca's whistle blew.

"I just spoke to UEFA people," said Wenger. "They are shocked as well as it killed a promising, fantastic match. What for? If it's a bad tackle, OK, but frankly it is embarrassing."

After van Persie's dismissal, Barca pulled even in the series on a Xavi goal and went ahead minutes later on a Lionel Messi penalty kick.

"I felt Barca gave a lot in the first half. We were completely dominated, I agree with that," he added. "But in the second half we felt there was more space, I knew that like the first game we could come back into the game and overall I'm convinced we would have won this game."

Guardiola said he understood Wenger's argument.

"I have got sympathy because I love how this team [Arsenal] play," he said.

Shakhtar Donetsk joined Barca in the quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Roma to follow up on its 3-2 win in Italy in the first leg.



0 comments
  1. Eric Shinn
    commented on: March 9, 2011 at 8:41 a.m.
    1) It wasn't a shot "on goal". It was wide right by a good 20 yards. 2) Barca had more shots on the Barca goal than Arsenal did. 3) Possession was about 3-1 for Barca. Believe it or not, it seemed worse. 4) If RVP doesn't through a childish temper tantrum early in the game to pick up the first yellow, he doesn't GET sent off. 5) That's the most negative game I've EVER seen out of the Gunners. They simply had NO offense to speak of. They rarely even managed a counter attack, choosing instead to "clear" the ball to a Barca player around midfield. Arsenal were outplayed in every single facet of the game, and it wasn't even close. So...what is it that Wenger is seeing that makes him think they had a chance?

  1. Walt Pericciuoli
    commented on: March 9, 2011 at 10:56 a.m.
    Right on Eric. If not for GK, Arsenal goes down by 3 or 4 goals easy

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 9, 2011 at 12:26 p.m.
    Hey, good point, but how about that Messi goal? Did he give a "sombrerito" on the Arsenal GK, i.e. flicked the ball over his head and then seem to have grown eyes on the back of his head to follow the flight of the ball, followed by a well taken volley into the back of the net or what? One of the best goals yet!

  1. Tyler Dennis
    commented on: March 9, 2011 at 3:04 p.m.
    Barca dominated. Cesc wasn't part of the game, nor was most of the Arsenal midfield, unless they were defending. The Arsenal defense just couldn't get a pass off to any of their players. Total dominance by Barca and a couple of beautiful goals too!

  1. Manuel Trejo-von Angst
    commented on: March 9, 2011 at 6:04 p.m.
    Oh Arsene...like clockwork he manages to blame everyone but his team for a defeat. It is one thing to support your team and defend your guys but he really needs to be a little more selective about when he does it. This wasn't the time for that. Barca, once again, comes back and DOMINATES the opposition. To see it any other way is absurd. It wasn't a close match at all Robin van Persie or no van Persie. Arsenal was simply outplayed. Get over it and move on, Arsene. You still have the Prem title to play for.

  1. Kevin Leahy
    commented on: March 9, 2011 at 8:11 p.m.
    Arsenal should be embarrased by how they chose to play! They have too much talent to play like that. Barcelona's second goal was a masterpiece. It is the reason I enjoy Barca above all teams. The are to soccer what music is to a symphony!

  1. Kerry Ogden
    commented on: March 11, 2011 at 8:55 a.m.
    I guess most of you didn't see the first game. Barca played the same but lost the game. THE REF in this sacond game make some mistakes, and the mistakes were critical to the outcome of the game. Alves was carring a yellow going into the game, in the 15th minute he should have recieved a second along with the red. Van Persie shouldn't have received the second yellow and also the ref allowed Barca to continuosly foul Gunners on the pitch which lead to confrontation on the field. As far as Arsenal being embarrassed,they shouldn't, they played against Spain's national team, the WC winners.


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