Inter Milan can feel hard done by in their Champions League exit against Liverpool, with Arsene Wenger accusing a Reds star of making the most of an injury and turning the tide in the Merseysiders’ favour.
After building a 2-0 advantage at the San Siro, Liverpool overcame a few early nerves and a stunning strike from Lautaro Martinez to seal a last-eight spot at Anfield. You can see our Player Ratings from the game right here…
However, Martinez’s stunning strike briefly raised fears that Liverpool might surrender their advantage.
As it was, a second yellow card, sustained by Alexis Sanchez, barely 90 seconds later, turned the tide back in Liverpool’s favour.
The Chilean, back on English soil for the first time since leaving Manchester United, was cautioned in added time at the end of the first half.
And he received his marching orders in the 63rd minute after lunging for the ball and catching Fabinho with the follow through.
While there was no question that Alexis made contact with the Brazilian, Wenger felt the Liverpool man made the most of it.
Indeed, the former Arsenal boss did not hide back from his assessment that Fabinho was, in fact, cheating.
Fabinho ‘very clever’
“He rode the line between cheating and being clever,” Wenger told beIN Sports, as cited by Metro. “Fabinho on this foul he was on the other side, he was cheating, he made more of it.
“Maybe he had pain and he was touched by Sanchez. You cannot say it was completely fake. But maybe he could have got up quicker.
“It’s one of these fouls…when it’s one of your players, you say it’s clever.
"I'm not having it." 😤
Was Alexis Sánchez unlucky to receive his marching orders for his second yellow card offence this evening? 🤔@rioferdy5 and @fara_williams47 believe so, @rach_brown1 not so much…#UCL pic.twitter.com/OCltrOR7ZR
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 8, 2022
“When you are completely neutral, like we are supposed to be, you would say he could have made less of it. But he touched him well, you cannot say he faked it.
“But he didn’t want to hurt him, he played first the ball.”
Rio Ferdinand feels Liverpool were fortunate
Rio Ferdinand, meanwhile, told BT Sport that he felt the red card was harsh and claims Sanchez won the ball first.
“I think he’s won the ball. You’re telling me he shouldn’t go to win that ball?” Ferdinand asked.
“It’s stupid that he’s given the ref an opportunity to make a decision. But I still think it’s harsh to give a yellow card. It’s a foul in today’s game, but I think it’s harsh to give a yellow card.”
Speaking to BT Sport after the game, Jurgen Klopp said: “The difficulties we had were pretty close to what I expected. Inter are a really, really good side, set up for these kind of games.
“Without playing brilliantly we had clear-cut chances. Over the two legs it’s completely fine that they won one and we went through. We could’ve done better against an opponent that makes life uncomfortable.
“It was a really interesting game. In the end we lost the game which obviously is not cool. We didn’t come here to lose a home game.
“The opponent caused us problems but if we had used our chances we win this game. We lost a lot of simple balls, which can happen and when the ball was in the air it was like slapstick with the wind.
“The counter-press was not really there. We were around challenges but not in challenges and we didn’t get the momentum, that’s what we were lacking.