Another absolutely fantastic night on the Kop for any fan of the game. It has everything anyone could have dreamed of, and yet again has made anyone claiming it would be “boring” look very foolish indeed.
It’s a shame that a bitter taste is left in the mouth. Why? The attitude of Wenger post-match.
Let there be no debate, the referee was fantastic. He made all the correct decisions, which is praise that could not be lavished on the officials from the Emirates first leg. Make no mistake about it, there was contact, a lot of it, it knocked a player at full pace off-balance and caused him to fall.
In the Premiership, it would be 50/50. In Europe? Stonewall penalty. You can’t do that in Europe, and the referee set out VERY early and made a massive point to every player for the first 20-30 minutes that heavy contact would NOT be tolerated. Arsenal were punished by pace, and while Wenger was busy throwing his dummy well out of his pram, Toure – who was judged to have committed the foul – seemed to have a different opinion and seemed to distance himself from claims it was a disputable decision. Arsenal were simply a victim of bad luck. They had a poor ref when they needed a good one, and a good ref when they needed a poor one.
Wenger however, in using this single incident to blame his sides exit on the referee is showing terrible conduct. Managers need to be making an example of themselves, but Wenger is constantly becoming his own worst enemy and nearly every negative post-game incident involving him has come from his OWN frustration and his OWN mistakes.
Wenger is as guilty as Mascherano was for Liverpool a couple of weeks ago, and I will be shocked if this hate-mongering and blame shifting isn’t heavily punished by UEFA.