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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger fumes at Uefa over charge


Wenger says Uefa should apologise

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has hit back at Uefa after he was charged with improper conduct following his side's Champions League exit in Barcelona.

Wenger was angry when Robin van Persie was sent off in the Gunners' 3-1 defeat in Tuesday's second leg of the last-16 tie, which they lost 4-3 on aggregate.

But Wenger denied aiming "inappropriate language" at referee Massimo Busacca.

He said: "It would be good for Uefa to show humility, to apologise, not charge people who have done nothing wrong."

An unrepentant Wenger continued: "I deny completely any charge.

"We are out of the Champions League, we have lost one of our big ambitions, we have been punished with a lot of damages and on top of that, we have to say sorry to Uefa.

"When you have a football game of that stature, you cannot come out with decisions like that and show a lot of arrogance on top of that.

Robin van Persie (left) protests to Massimo Busacca (right)
Van Persie (left) protests to Busacca after his sending off

"We can all understand that we can make wrong decisions, but after that it becomes dictatorship."

Wenger confronted Busacca at full time on Tuesday along with Gunners midfielder Samir Nasri, who has also been charged by Uefa.

The disciplinary hearing will be heard by Europe's football governing body on 17 March.

Wenger's main point of contention from the game was the second-half dismissal of Dutchman Van Persie, who was shown a second yellow card by Busacca for shooting at goal a second after the official had blown for offside.

Van Persie insisted he had not heard the whistle because of the noise of the 95,000-plus crowd in the Nou Camp.

The sending off came only three minutes after an own goal from Barcelona's Sergio Busquets made it 1-1 on the night, after Lionel Messi's opener for Barcelona, and put Arsenal 3-2 ahead on aggregate.

"It is a shame for me that the referee took the decision to send Robin van Persie off. It was the wrong decision," said Wenger.

"The first leg was a fantastic advert for football and the second game has been destroyed. People now will only remember the sending off."

Arsenal held out for 16 minutes with 10 men, but ultimately the relentless pressure from the home side told and Xavi's goal levelled the tie overall before a Messi penalty sealed Barcelona's progression to the quarter-finals.

This was reward for a fine performance from the Spanish champions, who dominated the second leg in which Arsenal failed to muster a shot on target.

It is the second game in succession that Wenger has felt compelled to criticise a referee's performance, following his criticism of Anthony Taylor and his officials during the 0-0 home draw with Sunderland in the Premier League last Saturday.

Andrey Arshavin had a goal incorrectly ruled out for offside and was later denied a penalty after Titus Bramble appeared to push him to the floor in the match at the Emirates.

Meanwhile, Uefa has charged Roma captain Daniele de Rossi with improper conduct after he appeared to strike Shakhtar Donetsk captain Dario Srna in the face during his side's 3-0 defeat on Tuesday.

English referee Howard Webb missed the incident but showed Srna a yellow card for protesting.

Uefa says its rules state "action may be taken even if the referee did not see gross unsportsmanlike conduct and was therefore unable to take any factual decision."

A disciplinary panel will hear the case next Thursday with De Rossi facing a minimum three-match ban if the panel find him guilty of assault.

Shakhtar won the tie 6-2 on aggregate to advance to the quarter-finals.

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see also
Fabregas to miss tie at Man Utd
10 Mar 11 |  Arsenal
Arsenal berate referee after exit
09 Mar 11 |  Europe
Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (agg 4-3)
08 Mar 11 |  Europe
Referee decisions disgust Wenger
05 Mar 11 |  Arsenal
Arsenal 0-0 Sunderland
05 Mar 11 |  Premier League

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