Wenger: Barcelona players influenced referee in Arsenal’s defeat


Arsenal suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League knockout stage at the Emirates and their manager Arsene Wenger claims the opposition players were influencing the match official in their latest loss.

Two goals from Lionel Messi in the second half as he finally managed to beat Petr Cech helped Luis Enrique’s side take a crucial lead for the second leg. The Gunners had several chances to find the back of the net but they failed to convert those chances.

Wenger has suggested their European fixture defeat at the hands of Barcelona was not down to the referee. He also went on to claim that Arsenal’s chances of progressing to the quarter final of the Europe’s elite club competition looked bleak, but admitted that the north London club will fight in the return leg at Camp Nou.

“I felt so [Barcelona players influenced the referee],” Wenger told Arsenal’s official website.

“But let’s be honest, we haven’t lost the game because of the referee. We have to look at ourselves and analyse ourselves. Maybe he gave one or two fouls which were not fouls but overall he has had no major influence on the result of the game.”

“Barcelona are certainly through, 95 per cent, but we want to go there and play. We are Arsenal Football Club and we will not go there to just have no chance. What we want is to focus on our next game. It’s a shame that the players have not got any satisfaction tonight because energy-wise we put absolutely everything in.”

The north London side are already out of the Capital One Cup and are alive in three competitions, the Premier League, the FA Cup and the Champions League. However, progressing further in the European competition looks slim and this could have an impact on their league performance.

Wenger will take his men to Old Trafford as Arsenal face Manchester United in their Premier League clash on Sunday. It should be seen how the Gunners will bounce back when they face the struggling Red Devils.

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