March 9th, 2011
08:47 AM ET

Was Wenger right – did the ref kill the game?

Arsene Wenger’s anguish was caused by Robin Van Persie’s sending-off against Barcelona.
Arsene Wenger’s anguish was caused by Robin Van Persie’s sending-off against Barcelona.

He's a sore loser but a superb manager, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was right about one thing: Referee Massimo Busacca did "kill" Tuesday night’s Champions League Round of 16 match at the Camp Nou stadium.

Although Arsenal's conquerors Barcelona were magnificent - statistically, the better side by a long way - the point about football, in fact sport in general, is you just never know what will happen.

Wenger’s anguish was caused by Robin Van Persie’s sending-off. He was given a second yellow card for kicking the ball after the referee had blown his whistle. Only, it wasn’t a petulant act; Van Persie was shooting at goal just one second after the offside flag was raised.

So indulge me in a quick game of what if? What if Van Persie had stayed on the pitch? The score was 1-1 at that stage. Would the extra man have stopped Barcelona from making it 3-1? And what if Van Persie, not substitute Nicklas Bendtner, had received Jack Wilshere’s late pass? The Dutch striker’s record suggests he would have done better than Bendtner; he might even have scored.

Even at 3-2 down, Arsenal would be heading for the quarterfinals on the away goals rule.

Our game of "what if" is slightly unfair on Barcelona. Forget the phrase Catalan giants, they were colossal. Barca made Arsenal look like plucky, non-league underdogs in an old-fashioned English FA Cup tie. Pep Guardiola's side enjoyed a staggering 69% of the possession. They had 738 successful passes and 19 goal attempts. Arsenal completed just 199 passes and had no shots.

The London club’s only goal was an accidental header from Barcelona’s makeshift defender Sergio Busquets.

However, this was a cup match. It may be called the UEFA Champions League but the tournament only really comes to life during the knockout phase. While it’s rare for smaller clubs to be crowned European champions, upsets can happen.

When you see Barcelona perform as well as they did against Arsenal, you wonder how they don't win the competition every year. Yet they didn’t even reach the final last season, out-fought and out-thought by Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan.

Most observers will brush aside Van Persie’s red card, saying “the better team won” – and they did. However, Busacca’s error denied us all a fascinating half an hour of cup football. Watching skilful Arsenal scrap like novices against sublime Barcelona would have been great fun.

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soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Englishmik

    Barcelona not only pass and keep possession but are amazing at pack tackling to get the ball back. They can only keep that intensity for 60 minutes before they tire and become vunerable. Usually at this point they are ahead and can keep the ball away from the opposition. Arsenal proved at the Emirates this year and last just keep in the match for 60 minutes and you have a chance.
    This year the referee took that chance away. Sure the stats look all Barcelona, but we were not given that last 30 minute chance when Barcelona can be beat.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:40 am | Reply
  2. A Tissier

    I think that Van Persie should have been sent off much earlier due to his deliberate slap in the face of the Barcelona player. Even with the second yellow card, everyone else had already stopped playing but van Persie. Yes, I agree, if he had stayed in the match, it would have been more interesting, but that doesn't mean that we should see him continue with that kind of behaviour that also mars the football!

    March 9, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
  3. fidelis

    what if arsenal had not started picking cards? In a game like this lots of things can happen and you cant afford to put yourselves in such a s dangerous position so early in the game

    March 9, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply
  4. winda

    Another controversional decision from the referee. BUSACCA eeerrrr.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:03 am | Reply
  5. Oriaku

    Yes, Barcelona were magnificent – statistically, the better side by a long way, but the issue remains that when will refs stop playing the 12 & 13 invisible men in a football pitch?

    The question still remains "WHAT IF"? A Scenario which no one can give an accurate answer until after the 90 mins schedule. Situations like this; it does not matter who play a magnificent football what matters is the end result. Arsenal needed a draw or 3-2 lose to qualify yet they fail to get the fair play required from a prefessional ref, what a shame.

    WHEN WILL FIFA WAKE UP?
    WHEN WILL UEFA WAKE UP?
    Refs pls you pple should stop causing pains and sorrow to so many fans out there because of your blunders.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:20 am | Reply
  6. Viktor

    Arsenal was defending 90minutes, and that is not Arsenal's game.........this lose goes to Wenger and no one else.......!!!!!!!!!!! If you want to beat Barcelona you need to outplayed them..............Arsenal did't deserve to go to the next stage!!!! I dont think not sending off van Persie would change anything, he was defending any way at all time.............even if Arsenal had extra man on the field they will still lose....................:)))))))))))) Outstanding performance from Barcelona and Messi, he scored similar goal against Almunia last year.................just perfect from Messi!!!!!!!!!!! And one more thing, what Fabregas did last night was a shame..............i think he give a way the game to Barcelona.....o yes!!!!! If you look at the video in the first goal you can see after he did that mistake with the back pass he never even tackle Iniesta....he just let him goooo!!!! That is selling the game!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And now i dont think any one can stop Barca from wining this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:22 am | Reply
  7. Jules

    @ A Tissier

    So I assume you also believe that the 2 players who throttled Van Persie a few minutes before should have seen red as well then???

    March 9, 2011 at 10:27 am | Reply
  8. Marks

    How come everyone has forgotten the off the ball incident when Abidal has a hand around Van Persie's throat? Does this not count as physical contact anymore? I am pretty sure that in the game of football, if a player raises his or her hand to another, surely that is a straight red? But alas, not even a warning, yet shooting at goal 1 second after the off side whistle has gone in a packed bird cage that is Barcelona's home stadium, that is worth a yellow card? Where is the justice?

    I am not denying the fact that Barca out played the Gunners, but defeat when already handicapped? That doesn't just hurt a fan, it hurts football,
    a sport I am a little less proud of supporting this morning!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:39 am | Reply
  9. Viktor

    I agree Abidal had to be sent off, but thats not my point!!! My point is that Arsenal is far better team that was last night, they played the worst game ever my friend and they didn't deserve to go to the next round.....!!!!!!!!! All goes to Wenger for defending 90 minutes!!!! Was a penalty in the first half over messi.......???? Yes, it was....!!!!!!!!! But does decisions wouldn't change anything and sending off Persie also, Barca had 580 passes and 20 shots on goal........Arsenal 58 passes and no shoot on goal.........you do the MATH....my dear friend!!!!!!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
  10. voetbal

    I think that the referee punished Arsenal for its ant-football which has been presented since first half. Moreover, van Persie probably saw the flagman raising his flag at the moment he received the ball, he was just in front of him.
    Arsenal played as little a team, just defending and halting the game all the time.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
  11. Harris Eze

    The ref was a disgrace and clueless. Embarassing mistakes to both sides and eventually creating an uneven level playing field. The referee absolutely murdered the game!

    March 9, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
  12. Bola

    the ref killed arsenal.They sold the game.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
  13. Ciara

    Barcelona still would have won. Maybe not as easily as they did without Van Persie. But if you look at the statistics, Barcelona is undoubtedly the superior team. Hala Barca!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
  14. ejiro

    The referee was right to send rvp off as his delay tactics brought him the second yellow card. Don't think it killed the game as he was anonymous prior to his sending off.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:14 am | Reply
  15. GOD'SPOWER

    Yes! Arsenal coach is right,the man on black was a barca fan.
    Send out a player for an offside.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:15 am | Reply
  16. Lucassi

    The luck is part of the game. Even if it comes from a human error. However, was it an error or an intentional act from the referee to favor Barcelona...

    March 9, 2011 at 11:16 am | Reply
  17. folarin

    Arsenal was robbed.It was a conspiracy to keep barcelona in the league,the same was done to chelsea when it played with barcelona in the champion's league.
    Sending Van persie ,a deadly striker, away is like taking the weapon of a soldier in war situation.Arsenal had there strategy and it doesnt matter how barcelona dominated the game with there passing . Robin van persie was one of the key factor in executing the Arsenal strategy,we never knew the referee also had his plan.Shame on barcelona and the referee.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
  18. Maarten van den Tweel

    Let's face it, regardless off the outcome, the game would have been more interesting if van Persie had not been sent off.

    But the bottom line is this; the referee should realize that giving a yellow card in this situation leads to a red one. And that sending someone off the pitch for kicking the ball a second after the whistle, out of bounds, not hitting anyone simply isn't worth it compared to all other fouls that blind bunch of umpires, linesmen and 4th official, are apparently too incompetent to book.

    We saw unpunished tackles with lifted legs, hitting people in the throat, pushing, shoving, and screaming, totally unworthy of a good game.

    And the referee decides that someone should be sent off for this, he just doesn't get it. It's pathetic.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
  19. imagooner

    One thing that every football fan would accept is that barca were the best team yesterday. Yet the match would have been evenly poised if its was 11vs12 rather than 10vs12. And checking the statistics of the impotent mr.refree its arguably barca which would progress despite whatever illegal and against the rule they did on pitch. If the impotent refree had booked atleast any one foul that barca made i would not have spoken about him. But one thing is for sure barca would never win anything without expert playacting and crying in the pitch just to covince the refree that opposition has made a foul...
    – xavi going down on without any contact from Clichy but a breath of his air. I don't know how he is voted as best player in football when he can't be honest on the pitch
    – alves making all rough tackles with the refrees assitance and on the slightest of touch acts as though he is going to die in the pitch
    – everytime arsenal had the possession it was clear to see that barca were having all 12 men behind the ball defending which was a great feet to see

    Since the reputation of playacting is not new to this wonderful barca team which has various skills like peek-a-boo, falling due change in wind or breath of opposition players. And after all this considering them as best team in the world is a complete joke. Though i never like him andy gray was right in saying that barca would suffer at the hands of stoke city which is so true considering they dont breath near the players but run through you.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
  20. Maarten van den Tweel

    @ejiro

    Delay tactics, are you kidding, how many kids in that stadium have only one job, to throw a ball onto the pitch when needed.
    If there was a delay, you're talking seconds. In a game that is horribly slow anyway. We lose minutes after every foul, injury, goal etc.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
  21. Jack

    Just look @ the stats & tell me Arsenal deserved to win that game

    March 9, 2011 at 11:32 am | Reply
  22. kamelop

    the ref didn't kill the game Arsenal don't give three consecutive passes Barcelona with 70% of ball possession, barcelona's football is more superior to any ground team at this time. wenger sorry you can't win with crying

    March 9, 2011 at 11:35 am | Reply
  23. Musa nigeria

    Yes they should be give a red card too.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:41 am | Reply
  24. Jack

    As good a player that Van Persie is , he has a nasty streak in him,the same as Gerrard,WENGER will never admit to this.Talent Reigns Supreme

    March 9, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
  25. Ian

    In all probability Arsenal would have still been beaten, however the ref made a big disservice to the game. The ref made sure that an extremely hard task for Arsenal was made impossible. It is almost impossible to beat Barca with 11 men, with 10 men it is impossible.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:44 am | Reply
  26. ghana

    this referee must be punish for the sending off of van

    March 9, 2011 at 11:46 am | Reply
  27. Abdrah

    Arsenal was robbed, Imagine a world best controlling ball with his HAND in front of referee and the official, is a shame, this is another Tom Evrebor. Same on to Platini, his planned against Wenger as actually worked.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:51 am | Reply
  28. kamelop

    Robin Van Persie it's very familiar with the rules, the small details make the greats matches. Robin Van Persie have to be more professionals isn't a street party

    March 9, 2011 at 11:53 am | Reply
  29. Felix Usiwo

    As usual... Arsenal will go out out of all competitions within weeks. I dont understand all this talk about the ref making a mistake as it happens to all teams once in a while. Eg what would have happened if Luiz of Chelsea had been sent off against MAN Utd or Carragher sent off against MAN Utd? Its all part of the game....... ARS supporters are just sore losers....

    March 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  30. dipyaman

    though barcelona won the match..and someway they deserve also....
    but van Persie red card was totally outrageous.Arsenal could playy better if he was on the field...the scenario would be completely different..than we confronted at the last 30 minutes...

    March 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  31. sam

    Based on those gambler's views the referee is confirmed to be corrupted officer taking a slightest mistake to sent a player out to his favour. This officer should be send to jail for killing a game with a plan in mind for his owned benefits..

    March 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  32. WHAT IF???

    What if VP wasn't sent off? He was the only guy who almost never joined his teams defensive effort, so I don't think he would have made that much difference in Barca's attack.
    And ALSO..what about the penalty the referee DID NOT give when Messi was fouled in the box in the first half and also what if Koscilny, or whatever his name is, would have been sent off, like he should have, for his penalty foul that Messi converted. Along with VP's slapping Alves in the face...
    I mean let's be VERY HONEST: The referee made more decisions in Arsenal's favor than Barca's, so all you Arsenal fans. don't act like, you would've won, but realize that your team did NOTHING for the game, didn't even have one shot on goal and it was simply embarrassing considering Arsenal's usual style of play.
    Wenger tried to pull a Mourihno from 2010 and that obviously did not work. Maybe next year – probably not though.

    March 9, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  33. Tah man utd

    Arsene is right the ref killed the game

    March 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  34. steve Brand

    I think that RVP was rightfully sent off...
    He looks to his right and sees Abidal stopping.
    Abidal would not do thatt unless he knows van Persie is off side.
    On his right hand side is also the linesmen who he could see.
    And then there is that knowledge that every striker has when he is at the edge , I could be of side.
    Those three clues should have warned van persie enough...

    But my guess is that it's a simple case of adding up. Three bad fouls (slapping alves, double play on Messi and a bad tackle in the beginning) and mouthing off at the ref after his first yellow. He was on the refs list. And that to his own making

    The ref even showed some mercy to Arsenal...
    Wilshere still on the pitch after two disgraceful tackles and Koscielny being spared his second yellow after the penalty. And another nice tackle just before that

    So really they should have finished with eight to ten players because Abidal shouldn't have grabbed van Persie a especially after the nice words about Abidals mother .

    March 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  35. Sachiko

    Hi Alex. I think this issue is another wake up call for video referee in football, like TMO in rugby...in order to make a reasonable judge on not only line call but also penalties on players. Umpires have to make a immediate decision after a play, no time to reconsider the judge is right or wrong, so it's natural they sometimes do incongruous judge on controversial situation because an umpire is also a human. We have no choice but to accept umpire's decision, whether right or not, it's too harsh to accept it, especially for losers.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  36. Alexis

    Arsenal fans need to stop complaining. You cannot justify giving up your style and then blame the ref for a sending off. Van Persie actually deserved another yellow for stepping into Messi on the 26'. All that talk about an "interesting game"? please. Both teams wanted to go through and the far better team did it.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  37. Salman Fari

    I don`t know why Football become a GLOBAL POLITICS? with this kind of officiating there is no way Arsenal or any other team can go through.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  38. daniel

    From the very beginning of the game, the ref has decided which side he was. Arsenal was painfully rob. Wenger had a game plan and that was killed by the ref. Arsenal wanted to defend and attack but to attack fully at about 20 minutes to the end of the match, that the ref did not allow to come to pass by sending Van P. away. It was unfortunate to see this happen in the game of football. I think UEFA need to look into the activities of ref generally and have them caution when the need arises. The game would not have gone the it went yesterday, Arsenal would have won the match even though Barca dominated the game, afterall, the only difference at the end of the day was just one goal.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  39. Roeland

    A. Tissier, don't forget that if you want to be fair, Barcelona should have played with ten man halfway in the first half. Abidal grabbed Van Persie by the throat, shouldn 't that be penalized ?

    And then don't forget the tackle Alves made himself on Fabregas. I don not only blame the referee, but his helpers as well. At least one them should have had his eyes open. A poor job, mister referee assistants !! Barcelona played great but I think the referee's standard has to be great as well for such an important match and that wasn't the case here. A great pity.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  40. Stupid_Referee

    There is something very wrong with fifa referees. Week in week out they made grave mistakes that cost the games of some very good teams. This is not acceptable. Like Wenger said, their job is to keep a good game while the coaches and managers are to deliver good games. But, atlas, this is not the case. Clown referees made so many stupid mistakes that they behave like they are being bought !! Coaches make comment like mine and they are in trouble. So let me say it for them, " You referees are stupid clowns ! You cant do a good job then at least have the decency not to officiate again".

    March 9, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  41. Viktor

    WHAT IF........!!!!!!!!!!!

    You are dam right about all what you just say.......i agree with you.....:))))))))))))))))))))))

    March 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  42. Andres

    Englishmik,
    you clearly do not watch many barca games. They do not get tired after 60 minutes; in fact, thats when they score the most. When their games are tight, the other team gets tired after 60mins because they have been running after the ball all game. Of course the red card is important, but before they had 11 attempts and 65% possession in 56 minutes. 8 more and 70% possession is more in the last 35, but not that much more.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  43. obiray

    Van Persie's (VP) red card made i big a diference because it killed Assenal's morale and mortivated Barca to attack knowing fully well that they are now playing against ten men.

    Though VP made a mistake, the referee could have overlooked it and allowed the match to continue. Though Barca may still have won the match but sending VP away made a mockery of their win.

    Man U and Barca are usually favoured by EUFA probaly beause of huge revenue they earn from there matches.

    Any team palying Barca or Man u should be prepared to get the same treatment from referees just like what happened to Arsenal – bais officiating.

    March 9, 2011 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  44. Brian Bates

    A couple of times on World sport you have stated that Spurs are the only team who can have a "home" game in the final at Wembley. I always thought Chelsea were a London club, and that they7 are still in the champions' league.

    Best wishes from sunny Sucre, Bolivia

    March 9, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  45. alehandro

    Arsenal lost because Barcelona were better and because Wenger decided to completely change the way the Gunners play, parking 11 men behind the ball and challenging Barca to break them down. Stupid tactics for most teams given Barca's slick passing style and the individual skills of Messi, but even more stupid with this particular Arsenal side which is suspect defensively down the middle and has unreliable goalkeepers. We'll play your own game is a phrase you hear from managers all over the world, yet Wenger suddenly decided to abandon Arsenal's style and shut up shop against perhaps the most inventively attacking team in the world. Van Persie's harsh sending off gives die hard Arsenal fans an excuse and certainly ruined the game as a contest, but it made no difference to the outcome. With Arsenal using these tactics Barca would have won even if the Gunners had 13 men on the field.

    March 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  46. Hwk Max

    @voetbal
    You called defending is anti-football? Then I'm pretty sure you don't even know football. What Carrager and Rafael did the other day, not what Arsenal did yesterday, are anti-football

    March 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  47. Kipruto

    Barca deserved to win,they had all the possesion,i dont know why Wenger chose to play defensively knowing quite well that Barca had a weak defence!

    March 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  48. OLALA

    ARSENAL DIDN'T SHOOT ..... ARSENAL SPENT ALL GAME DEFENDING.... BARÇA WAS THE BEST AND THE GLORY IS FOR THEM

    March 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  49. Ade

    Arsenal got pummelled, SIMPLE AS THAT. Wenger for all his " I am perfect comments" is far from it and as usual a typical moaner which is funny as he complains about moans against his team too

    March 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  50. Archibald

    The question to be posed is as follows: ¿Why is it imperative for world and european soccer bosses that Barça go through to the quarters or the semis, and, hopefully, the final?

    How many more million chinese, indian, brazilian, japanese or korean football fans would rather see Messi than RVP on their TV sets?

    How many millions of $ is that worth in terms of advertising income?

    Definitely, Barça is a fantastic team, but if need be, there's always a helping hand ready at the right moment to blow the whistle home.

    And yet, even so the plan sometimes fails, like last year against Inter. But that was the final and the global networking and merchandising money was already in the pocket.

    ain't that true, my dear Chelsea supporters?

    March 9, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  51. sam

    Sure barcelona are the best team in the world, sure they would have beaten arsenal 11 v 11 but that was the most disgusting piece of refereeing i have seen in recent history,
    Someone here commented van persie should have been sent off earlier, i think abidal needed to be sent of way before that.
    I for one am sick of their "Holier than thou" attitude, barcelona are a fantastic team with fantastic players yet somehow they are all cry babies constantly trying to con the ref in each and every game they play, disgusting and i say this and am not even an arsenal fan,
    Go LFC!, Barcelona will lose again this year, be in the semi's, or the final, and i for one hope it is an english team that beats them!

    March 9, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  52. Josemi

    englishmik, you are wrong about Barcelona only playing at that intensity for 60 minutes. In fact, Barcelona has shown if anything the opposite of what you say. There are many victories that come in the dying moments of the game, as opposed to the opposite. Just the other day Barcelona beat Valencia like that, and if you want to go back in time also against Chelsea the victory came in the dying moments.

    The physical ability of the players is very high. Players like Mascherano or Pedrito who are tireless. Mascherano beat out Bendtner in the 88th minute, even when Bendtner entered as a sub.

    March 9, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  53. Tiny

    Anyone who refers to the stats should remember that Arsenal played half the match with 10 men. Arsenal have performed much better in the 2nd half than in the 1st against Barca in recent matches. Van Persie's shot was Arsenal's first at goal, and was punished with a red card. Before the red card the result of the game was in doubt. The referee made sure that there was going to be no doubt about the result.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  54. John Main

    I became very suspicious of the referees behavior about 20 minutes into the game. It was just too one sided for my liking.Does any one else think that the referee had been bribed ? It happened in cricket so why not football ? Millions are bet on games like this by Asian betting syndicates. I cant think of any other reason for his bizarre behavior other than incompetence, which should be unacceptable in a game of this importance.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  55. Josemi

    I don't like that Arsenal (and many EPL fans in general) are shielding themselves with the refereeing.

    Yesterday, Messi was clearly taken down by #2 in the PK area in front of the ref in the 32nd minute. Clear PK that was overlooked, just like the legal goal Messi scored in the first leg disallowed by the ref.

    I think the problem is the sensationalist approach of the english media to football. Very little criticism/analysis done about formations, player field positioning or movement, etc. No, it was that yellow card, which was done for time wasting btw. Forget the PK or anything that doesn't support the conspiracy theory.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  56. Josemi

    Also, Abidal grabbing Van Persie by the neck came in the 47th minute or so, not halfway through the first halve. Halfway through the first half Van Persie should've seen his first yellow for his knee-high-studs-up tackle on Messi. He should've been ejected after he slapped Alves.

    And the Abidal neck grabbing, came in the middle of a scuffle between both teams when Wilshere was wasting time faking an injury.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  57. German

    The ref's call may have been a little too harsh. But if you whatch the replay the crowd wasnt shouting during the play, and VP's demeaner during the shot and immediatly afterwards shows he knew he was offsides. If not then that was one of the worst shots a player that caliber has taken on a one on one with the keeper (he shot from almost 30 yards out!) He knew he was offsided and decided to throw the ball away anyways. The ref saw only one team playing soccer and the other holding on, literally to a convinient result, using al kind of tacticts to waste the clock (like the trying to create a fight after a play in the first half so play would not conitnue, immediately RVP was yellow carded for hitting purposely in the face D. Alves in the next play) The ref knew what was going on specially with RVP. A yellow card for throwing the ball away after play stop is not a question about loosing time exclusively, its about doing something totally the opposite of what the game is about., it shows disrespect not only to the other team but mainly to the ref and the game itself.

    Its absurd to come in now and discuss about what if he didnt sent off VP. Before that play ref missed a key foul on Messi in the first half, bordeline penalty. That would have change the complexity of the game for sure!. He simply let the game go on. I would trade the penalty for RVP final red card, that would have complete fairness IF you want to make a statement that the ref "killed' the match.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  58. kevin

    Am not an Arsenal fan , but to be honest the Ref killed the game xx this is how mere ref descions cost teams a crutial game like that one . besides coaches and players are human, they should be let to express their feelings xxx they wont pretend to be contented when not xxx its only Refs and officials that do something and get away with it .., why ?

    March 9, 2011 at 4:17 pm | Reply
  59. mike

    no shots on goal! and they call themselves the gunners?!? i've seen matches with teams with 10 men disadvantage ACTUALLY WIN! they were gifted with an own goal, and were ACTUALLY LEADING 3-2. WITH or WITHOUT RVP, arsenal didn't deserved to win.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  60. Kanji Daramy

    The swiss ref was obviously biased in favor of Barca. Why? That's a complex question but being human the ref handicapped Arsenal throughout the match and helped the home team which already had an advantage of playing at home with his 'God-only-knows' sympathy. R. van Persie did not deserve a second yellow card. The ref just simply killed a match that had all the potentials of making the game a marvel to watch, no matter which side won at the end of the day. In Africa, we call that 'corruption!'

    March 9, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  61. BeerSocial

    Stupid and unprofessional – but not by the ref!!
    Apart from the slap earlier, playing on after the whistle blows was stupid and unprofessional by Mr. Van Persie. So don´t blame the referee, blame yourself and your ego if you´re sent off this way.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  62. Shemp

    The ref absolutely killed the game and was completely one sided. Every time Arsenal touched the ball, a Barca player flopped to the earth. Every time a gunner took possession or went in for a challenge, they got whistled for it as every Barcelona player on the pitch mobbed the ref and cried like little children. Not to mention that completely insane sending off of RVP while the Barca players were allowed to choke not one but TWO Arsenal players without so much as a blink from the refs. That game was a complete sham. Barcelona is a paper tiger, and I hope they lose 10-0 to Tottenham after Spurs beat Milan.

    March 9, 2011 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  63. Kevin O

    The referee did not kill the game. Rather, he kept it alive. Otherwise, some characters such as Koschniesky should have been sent off way before RVP was. Seriously, all the fouls committed by Arsene Wenger's side prior to RVP's second yellow have completely been overlooked, thanks to the bullyish nature of the English media. I'm I the only one (save for the commentators) who noticed that Messi was denied a clear penalty much earlier on in the match after one of Arsenal's players hacked away at his legs?

    Who says that RVP did not hear the whistle? He was unmarked, since Abidal had already stopped upon hearing the whistle. All he had to do if he legitimately did not hear the whistle was to saunter up to the 18 box and take a shot from there, but nooo, he decided to take a shot kilometres from the goal because he did not hear the whistle. Come on, man.

    Besides, RVP commited several fouls prior to this. All these times, he heard the whistle perfectly clearly and stopped play. Suddenly in the course of game, did he turn deaf or something?

    I heard the whistle way back from my couch. This fellow was right in the game and heard nothing? Please!

    March 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  64. tony

    am a man utd fan bt the truth is the ref killed the game

    March 9, 2011 at 6:12 pm | Reply
  65. CmonYouReds

    The center ref was absolute rubbish... far too inconsistant with his calls and his cards. Arsenal has a right to be upset with the ref. However, they were on their backfoot the entire match prior to the sending off so they deserved the loss. It's a pitty Theo wasn't available though.

    March 9, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  66. Rizwan

    Arsene is great manager Arsenal could have in their history, he applied a strategy which was working although its not pretty but I am sure if that red card was not given they could have achieve the targets that is to go through to next round. Better luck nest time Arsene , he is thinking right for the club to indulge young players.

    March 9, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  67. Kehinde Oyenekan

    Barca and Arsenal are clearly the only teams I attach any sentiments to because of the entertainment value they bring to the game. But I think the ref was too heavy handed and killed that game. The second game might have been as pulsating as the first played at the Emirates. A ref is not only required to be firm and cool head, he is also expected to be flexible and discretionary in bias of fair play. That ref was none of these. I think he gave Barca an undue advantage that they don't really need nor solicited for. Please, Please, Please, don't let this ref be in charge of any sensitive game in the future...he will simply murder it! This is a prophetic caution!

    March 9, 2011 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  68. Nangosi

    The refari was one sided

    March 9, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  69. Fair_Football

    I am Barcelona supporter. To tell you the truth:
    ref may make mistake when the game is very difficult to control but this one is simply intolerable mistake!!!! He has to acknowledge his mistake and say sorry!!!

    March 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm | Reply
  70. Hoagmeister

    I love Arsenal: when they do it right they really put on a show; but last night they played as if they'd spent the day partying with Charlie Sheen before going to the game. Barcelona scored ALL FOUR goals, and the only one Arsenal got credit for was a misdirected header. Their footwork was as clumsy as a flock of ducklings waddling out of a bog, their play coordination was non-existent, their ad-lib plays were horrific, and some of their key players had obvious anger management issues dealing with a team that knows how to get under the opposition's skin. Yes, I agree the red card call was the acme of lame; but anyone who saw what V. Persie did to earn his first yellow card had to know the ref was (pardon the pun) gunning for him.

    March 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm | Reply
  71. Andrew

    BUSACCA need to be charged! I will stop believe in UEFA legitimacy! this is serious.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  72. Brian

    Ay...the Dutchies...what can you expect! Van Persie acted like a spoiled brat and should have been expelled for the deliberate slap to the face of Dani Alves. Of course, Webb did not expell de Jong from the WC final for his karate kick in the "interest of the game"! When is footbal going to wake up and realize that watching repeats of uncalled fouls (no one mentioned the penalty against Messi!), fair goals ruled null, bad goals allowed and nonexistent penalties only takes away from the game. Tell that old Swiss fart to take a look at the competition: tennis, rugby, American football, etc and used video replay...get with the programme, man!

    March 9, 2011 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  73. Tuckyjoe

    Look! Controlling 90% of the game and not scoring goals is nothing. How many times Arsenal have controlled games and ended up losing? With VPS off the pitch Barca gained more confidence because there was no deadly weapon who could have struck them on the break. Even though I believe Wenger poorly engineered the game but Arsenal could have easily eliminated Barca. I am now beginning to question the intelligence of some of these European referees. I knew when the game is plaid in the Nou Camp Arsenal will lose somehow. Wenger was right the ref was a total disgrace.

    March 9, 2011 at 10:34 pm | Reply
  74. mario

    the ref did kill arenal... not the game but arsenal.

    March 9, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  75. iwani

    the ref killed the game period.um not angry but at the standard of that game he did have a bad conduct to the game and now the coach is a bad guy.give me a break.i need to say this" that ref sucks."

    March 10, 2011 at 12:28 am | Reply
  76. West

    If you're going to play the "what if" game, fine. What about the unfairly disallowed Messi goal in the first leg? What about the penalty in the 27th minute in the 2nd leg that should have been given in Barca's favor?

    Yes, things could possibly have been very different with 11 vs 11 in the final 30 minutes... but the truth is, Van Persie played ugly last night and made foul after foul. He should have been sent off much earlier yet the ref let the game go on. What happened with the offside kick was just the final straw. Petty kicks and slaps, and dangerous futbol are against the rules.

    Truth is, Barca was vastly superior in both legs, and they go through fairly playing their own style of futbol. Regretfully, Arsenal lost playing an ugly futbol when they are capable of much more...it was their game to lose.

    March 10, 2011 at 1:54 am | Reply
  77. whodat

    Salman fari

    u are right. Football has turned into global politics and it is now a battle between the haves and the have not. The lesser teams are oppressed and it becomes impossible for them to win in this unhealthy environment. In la liga its as if barca and real madrid are playing themselves . its no more a competition btw 20 teams. i must say soccer has become very corrupt and something has to be done abt it cos its killing the game and it is becoming very predictable

    March 10, 2011 at 3:48 am | Reply
  78. whodat

    @Salman fari
    u are right. Football has turned into global politics and it is now a battle between the haves and the have not. The lesser teams are oppressed and it becomes impossible for them to win in this unhealthy environment. In la liga its as if barca and real madrid are playing themselves . its no more a competition btw 20 teams. i must say soccer has become very corrupt and something has to be done abt it cos its killing the game and it is becoming very predictable

    March 10, 2011 at 3:48 am | Reply
  79. Jobcie

    It is now evidently clear that, Barcelona can only win 6 out of 10 matches should the players be allowed to sweat and fight it out.
    even here in la liga, its thesame. you can't play Barcelona 11 against 11 and not have 1 or 2 players of the opposite team sent off just top give barcelona easy escape. even though they know how let the ball move around. Notwithstanding, without the assistance of refrees,Barcelona can only win 6 out of 10 league or championship matches.
    I love Barcelona but whatever Wenger says, i'm all for it.

    March 10, 2011 at 8:19 am | Reply
  80. jorgen friis

    unfortunately, the quality of refs. on-the-field performances has deteriorated so am not surprised about the poor performance in this match. Refs. can easily ruin an otherwise well balanced game as is the case ever so often. This, again, raises the spectrum of a) a scorecard for refs. Once they are scored out they should not be re-instated until/unless they have proven themselves capable of ref again and b) use of instant video technology. Had that been in place this discussion would have been superfluous. I simply cannot understand why this issue keeps being stonewalled when the benefits are for all to see

    March 10, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  81. Kola

    Sometimes their will be mistake & nobody above a mistake.but as a real barca fan. Barca alway play Arsenel.fisrt leg, second leg barca play Arsenel.play to win.

    March 10, 2011 at 2:55 pm | Reply
  82. Gutted

    Watching Barca play was a delight at times – beautiful. Even though I was disappointed with Arsenal's tactics and kind of accepted the dodgy referring, the RVP sending off just killed the game.

    The tension, anticipation & uncertainty of a 'cup' game was lost and everything Barca did afterwards was tainted because of the refs bias. A real shame for football.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  83. WHC

    Arsenal had no shot on goal and yet they drew 1-1 before the dumb or "scandulous" ref sent RVP off. In sports we never know. Barcelona was clearly the better team, even before the send off. But how often have we seen a better team lose. Arsenal was robbed. No doubt about that.

    March 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  84. collins

    the refaree was realy in the side of barcelona.he could have just called him and warn him,saposing is the one who got the last chance of bentiner,would have scored and go witth away goal

    March 10, 2011 at 9:13 pm | Reply
  85. SoccerFan

    The decision was a travesty. Barca may have had the better of posession, but they did so at the Emirates also and lost. Immediately after the sending off Barca took control. Let's face it, the decision very likely determined the outcome of the tie. UEFA should be acknowledging that Van Persie shot only one second after the only audible whistle, and that the decision was not good.

    March 10, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Reply
  86. newcomen

    i love arsenal we are going to be a force now, no stopping us heads up . but just think would you wanna be a reff...????????????????

    March 11, 2011 at 12:40 am | Reply
  87. Abdulwahab nigeria

    R v p presend is a tread to barca, they couln'd have attack the way the do if he's on the fied. So yellow card 4 the ref 4 wrong decession.

    March 11, 2011 at 2:15 am | Reply
  88. Markie T

    Players are penalized for 'un-sportsmanship' conduct and managers are penalized for being 'vocal'.

    Why aren't referees penalized for being incompetent, stupid and arrogant?

    Time and time again, football clubs have been robbed of victory because of these incompetent referees.

    How on earth did these guys become 'referees'? If all it takes is incompetence, stupidity and arrogance, then almost anyone can be a referee. There is no need to go through any training to be one – unless that training is specifically to train them to be incompetent, stupid and arrogant.

    March 11, 2011 at 4:35 am | Reply
  89. troy

    if we always tlking about "IF" better we live on the past... so what? arsenal lose, the reff make mistake, bedner cant score goal, van persie red card..live with that fellazz...at least we still can watch beautiful play from barca....so, live with that fellazz...theres nothing u can do about it...enjoy the rest of the team play.... ty🙂

    March 11, 2011 at 8:36 am | Reply
  90. stephen

    In your article it is labelled as controversial,we know what to espect in big games at this stage,but the officiating was umbelievably over the edge.Massimo Buccasa Spoilt a good game.

    March 11, 2011 at 9:04 am | Reply
  91. sargenta

    What if the referee had seen the penalty to Messi in the first half? What if van Persie had seen a yellow card for treading on Messi's ankle in the first half? What if the referee had seen the penalty to Pedro in the match at the Emirates? What if the referee had not seen an non-existent offside in Messi's legal goal at the Emirates? From the way he kicks the ball and how he behaves inmediately after, I am not so sure van Persie did not hear the whistle.

    March 11, 2011 at 9:19 am | Reply
  92. Arthur

    Sometimes you believe that these games are rigged.
    Last year Barcelona supposedly "outplayed" Inter Milan at the Nou Camp , but lost because those are the very tactics Mourinho set his team. Defend the lead..
    Arsenal were intent on the same tactics.
    The ref destroyed the game.
    FIFA need to wake up. They need 3rd umpires to correct refereeing errors on the field

    March 11, 2011 at 9:59 am | Reply
  93. mamak bola

    The ref killed the game, not for the first time. The last time Chelsea met Barcelona in the semi final in 2006/2007, the outcome was blatantly decided by the ref. FIFA, please wake up, otherwise, a bunch of amateur refs (who knows the rules but not the game) will decide the outcome of these vital matches, not the professional footballers. What a shame, man.

    March 11, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
  94. Yash

    What if Messi's goal in the first leg was not given offside?
    What if Messi was awarded a penalty in the second leg?
    What if Abidal was sent off in the second leg?

    As usual over two legs there were a number of terrible decisions, all of which could have changed the course of the game. In the first leg if Messi's goal had been counted (replays suggest he was in fact onside), Barcelona would have been 2-0 up before half time. In the second leg, the awarding of the penalty (which clearly was a penalty) would have possibly seen Barcelona 2-0 up before half time. With Abidal sent off, things may have changed dramatically again. Basically the point is that week-in week-out we see terrible decisions made by refs, one can't ask the what-if question. it is part and parcel of football, until technology is introduced (which may only slightly improve decision-making, see the current DRS system for the cricket world cup as an example of how crazy and difficult it can get). getting back to the barcelona game, while arsenal supporters can feel aggrieved, for them to claim they are always sinned against and never see favour from reffing decisions is crazy. in the end there is no doubt that the better team went through.

    March 11, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply
  95. A Christinis

    The ref was ignorant and fifa should take responsibility for their actions in appointing a ref more suitable to milk the Swiss cows
    than a game so important.

    V. Persie was never offside

    Murphy's law??

    March 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  96. friday felix

    in my life i have never seen such robbery b4,bussaca as he is called was baised,we played 12 vs 10,well all hope not lost gunnners 4 lyf

    March 11, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Reply
  97. kavin kebimala

    FOOT BALL FANS HAVE STARTED TO ASK QUESTION IF THIS IS A COMPETION OR COMPREHENSION, IT IS NOW BECOMING SUSPICIOUS THIS REFEREE'S ERROR,WE ALL REMEMBER VERY WELL WHAT HAPPEN TWO YEARS AGO,CHELSEA VS BARCALONA, A DAY LIGHT ROBBERY. THIS GROUP OF MORON WILL KILL THIS GAME.

    March 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  98. tuffymacca

    Like all English journalists ,u are biased towards English clubs,Barca were never outfought nor outthought by Inter Milan in last year UCL Semi finals.Barca took the game to the defensive Inter both at San Siro & Nou Camp.I remember the same journalist vividly predicting that Man Utd were going to beat mighty Barca in the UCL Final in 2009 only 4 his favoured Utd to be outclassed /outfoxed/outpassed& outmanoeuvred by a sublim,.imperious Barca side .

    March 11, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  99. Nana

    Viktor you are not a good fun and does not play football am sure because if you do you wont be there speaking what is coming from your mouth and not your mind kwasia sem wa ge me papa

    March 11, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  100. rick

    All I have to say is Barcelona is a great football club and always play very well but their outcome is not the same always. Remember the first game, Barcelona out played Arsenal but still the winner was Arsenal. Thats when all 11 players were playing. So yes you never know you can change the face of the game in a split second. And here I feel the ref killed the game. I think all the soccer fan deserve to know what action is being taken on the ref.

    March 11, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  101. Willy

    Wenger have to learn from the catalans, they play the best football in the world, we love this Barcelona team. van persi was a pig against alves in first time, and all this people forgets that the refer in London lwo weeks ago had big mistake when he didnt accept the 2 goal for Barça and it was absolutly legal, in camp nou last tuesday the same ref didnt give penalty to messy in firt time.
    then 2 mistakes against 1 but many many football from Barcelona.
    thanks Barça

    March 12, 2011 at 12:23 am | Reply
  102. Master P

    What most of us forget to accept is that he ( the referee also denied Messi a penalty in the first half. So this is the nature of the game, mistakes are bound to happen and if they do we just take it as the game of football. Bravo Barca

    March 12, 2011 at 4:12 am | Reply
  103. kouevidjin kuessan

    with fifa i know everything is possible.if messi could be named best player this year,this can also be happen and fifa know about all.till now i never know how poeple who deserve it would be feeling.xavi or iniesta should be because of world cup,but if not one of them whynot inter milan man who won trible and played final at world cup.someone wanna tell me 60 goals is more than all?we
    r not blinde so fifa should stopp all these to let us feel the football games

    March 12, 2011 at 7:16 am | Reply
  104. mo

    If you say refs kill this second leg game, I suggest you to have a playback on the first leg- the disallowed goal for Messi, the handballs in the arsenal's penalty area and also fouls of arsenal players.

    If refs kill gunners in the second leg, then who kill barca in the first leg?

    Even in the second leg, there are ignored fouls for gunners. The most obvious of those is the foul on Messi in the penalty area.

    The truth is, pep or barca players didn't blame on the unfair game in fly emirates but reflected on their failures. But wenger fails to do so. He blames on the red card-indeed, is a second yellow card, and this second card was given correctly of course.

    March 12, 2011 at 8:14 am | Reply
  105. musah Fifa

    look let me tell you Robin Vav Persie can't stop Barcelona for wining that match, Ten's of Van Persies can't do anything that night,Barca is Barca no mather how, i like Arsenal but we shouldn't compare them with Barca, the best team in the world, Barca beat Arsenal with everything in football, so Arsenal don't cry too much.

    March 12, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
  106. kayo

    Yes d ref did kill d game. In football possessions & shots on target does not guarantee you a win but goals do. What if with all that possession & shots on goal Barca were unable to score? Just imagine for a sec & u would realize that Arsenal would have made it thru to d 1/4 finals. Jst 3 mins after the equalizer, d ref gave a red card to an Arsenal player. Wasn't it obvious? Y didn't d ref give Abidal a red card for his offense? Oh he couldn't see that i suppose. He shd have been consistent. D politics being played in football is more than that of d white house, downing street and d mid east put together. It's high time football is revolutionized so that all these mistakes from refs are put to a stop. And who says players & managers can't criticize refs? So a ref gets all d backings & d clubs & players who make us watch d game don't. Stake holders should get their acts together & put a stop to all these outdated rules.

    March 12, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
  107. Edward

    Barcelona was the better team and would probably have won anyway. But by sending off Van Persie the referee denied Arsenal the chance to 'get lucky'. So yes horrible decision.

    March 13, 2011 at 8:54 am | Reply
  108. adrian

    Firstly, i would like to say that i'm neither a barca or gunners fan...i just like good futball, and here in the US, there isn't any so i catch whatever match i can on the tele or internet....as for the match...it was disgusting to watch...barca fans say foul on messi in 27th...ankle tackles...this and that...barca players flop...it is not a secret, and if u have watched any matches in la liga, u will see it is a systemic problem in spain...for instance, ronaldo and di maria for Real...floppers...dani alves is a dirty, slimy player...Barca plays a pretty game, but in la liga, the refereeing is such that u need to give players like messi, ronaldo, dani alves, etc so much space as to not accidently breathe on them....then there's arsenal...u can't park the bus behind the midfield line and expect to get a result against any team...much less barcelona...they needed to stretch the pitch and create space for their players to run into as they do back in the epl but they didn't so hence, the result...if they had played as they did in the first leg...they would've had a chance...but unfortunately for them, they didn't. (it didn't help either that walcott injured, cause if i remember the first leg, barca spent most of their time watching the back of his jersey fly by them)...and the ref...well, anyone with two eyes could see that he was definitely not up to par for the match....why he was chosen to ref this important game is up for speculation. If u can sanction Nasri for mouthing off to the ref after the game, u can discipline for making such poor decisions during the game....

    March 13, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  109. CARLOS E SEAMAN

    Some people are saying that the referee stole the game, You can not stole something from a team that didnt have anything !(Arsenal).
    Barcelona shooted 18 times at goal, arsenal Zero, nada, cero!.And was very generous giving arsenal`s only goal has a gift. This time . mediocrity lose, talent wins!...

    March 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  110. Carlos

    What gets me about this is how many so called supporters of football keep saying "Barca were the better team therefore deserved the result'.

    Yes they were but football is decided by goals scored. And at the time VP was sent off it was 1-1. The decision to send off VP was really lame and it cost Arsenal big time.
    Another dubious call ( or should I say, non call) was when Abidal grabbed VP by the throat. Should have been a red, straight up. But again the ref bottled it. How would the game turn out with the mighty Barca down a man ...?
    People keep going on about Barca having passed 500+ times......They play 'keepball ' and it's BORING. If all the teams played the way Barca play football would die of boredom.
    Barca have gobs of talent but are not fun too watch unless you are Catalan.
    Now Real know how to play real football.

    March 13, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Reply
  111. Dan

    We will never know the true outcome because the ref took that away from us.

    March 13, 2011 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  112. Richson

    Hi,Problem it is not Arsenal team, Problem is UEFA based on BARCELONA Side, why ,Last year in Uefa champions legue 16 Round Arsenal start first match at home ground,Emirates Stadium and the results was 2-2.Next match they went to Nou Camp and loses 4-1.

    This year UEFA came up with the same time table like last year. why???? Arsenal start home won 2-1 then Nou camp loses 3-1,

    UEFA Do not want to give the chance for Arsenal to finish second match at home when they play with Barca they know that Barcelona will be eliminated by Arsenal.

    March 14, 2011 at 7:14 am | Reply
  113. Richson

    Referee also planted for Barcelona side,Every time Arsenal players are given Red Card when they met with Barca Remember 2006 Final?

    Referee also are Destroying Football

    March 14, 2011 at 7:28 am | Reply
  114. oduna

    Barcelona bullied us no doubt aboutit but it should be accepted that the decisiion by the referee to give a second yellow to vp contributed preponderately to whatever the outcome of the encounter was and here comes the what-if question ,would Arsenal no have defended a little better if they had that one extra player in the field of player,was the decision to show the vp the second yellow not done precipitously and if that be the case the the central referee looked and acted more like the 12 barcelona player and winger was absolutely right to have called for uefa to apologize for this humongous damage and i think that for the fact that football is game played by humans ,human errors can not be ruled out but then isn't human that these humans should be human enough to own up to their misdeeds and probably once in a while when these season shattering errors are made apologize to the side that is at the receiving end of these indecorous calls.

    March 15, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  115. DANIEL

    NO HE IS NOT Z GAME WAS ALREADY KILLED BE FOR HE SENT OF BY 2ND YELLOW BARCELONA WAS DOMINATED THE GAME AND THERE WAS A SEANCE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO SCORE IN SHORT TIME .........................................THEY SHOULD NOT COM PLANE THEY HAVE TO ACCEPT THE RESULT BECAUSE THEY LOST FOR A FOOT BALL CLUB FROM PLANET MARES

    March 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  116. shawary ikaji

    You dont win the game by making some excuses all the time, refs are human being whatever decision they make the stronger team always fight to win the game. How many times we have seen a stronger team coming back and win the game with 10men or even 9??. If you look into the back ground of AW he simply makes a lot of petty and unprofessional excuses; developing young talents-Arsenal players are no longer KIDS!!, playing in a very bad pitch!!,winning with a long balls- not with entertaining football And now arserna has been eliminated at three competitions in a space of two weeks at a very strange circumstances!!- This is a result of failed phylosophy, Tactics and policy and then shifting the blame to circumstancial issues. You Arsenal Funs; work-up- AW is a failure, changes is inevitable and the early the better. Otherwise you will continue singing AW songs year in year out- may be next year, next year, next year.........!!!!
    Baca was a stronger Team and AW should accept the stronger Team always win the match.

    March 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Reply
  117. stanley

    arseal wenger should be sack, he sold the match, he he can defend against all might barcelona for the whole of first half i wonder while he will not chnge his game when the score was 2:1, so that they will go for penaulty , to beat a typical bar side use the kind of counter attack he used against bar in the last minutes to score bar 2 goals within 15 minute in london.

    March 27, 2011 at 8:23 am | Reply

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