‘Revolting officials to blame’ as Wenger defends Arsenal stars

Date published: Tuesday 7th March 2017 10:28

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger insists the officials were to blame for Arsenal’s 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich, branding some decisions “revolting”.

The Gunners gave a repeat performance to that of the first leg, when a good first half display was followed by a second-half collapse, but Wenger was keen to push the spotlight onto the officials rather than his team, or himself.

“[Robert] Lewandowski is offside and no penalty, on top of that the referee gives a yellow card then a red – it’s just not serious.

“When you see an attitude like that I’m absolutely revolted and sorry for people who paid a lot of money to come and see the games.

“I felt we were in it and you never know how Bayern would have reacted had we scored a second goal.

“But it finished like it did and it’s difficult to take, it’s very bad, and it doesn’t reflect the quality of the performance tonight.”

The defeat was Arsenal’s biggest ever at the Emirates Stadium, and is sure to compound speculation over his own future following a difficult spell.

However, he insists the attitude of his players shows there is very little wrong at Arsenal under his guidance, saying: “I feel we produced the game we wanted and we were very unlucky in some decisions with the ref I find very difficult to understand.

“It’s difficult to understand what happened. My team has produced a huge effort and played very well. The second part of the game was spoiled by the referee.

“We keep the spirit and play the next game.

“Overall, I must say Bayern, they are a good side, but tonight they can as well say thank you to the decisions of the referee in the second half.”

Wenger refused to discuss his long-term future at the Emirates as talk of his possible exit from the club intensifies.

Pre-match protests consisting of around 200 supporters outside the old Highbury home against Arsenal’s hierachy and Wenger’s position highlighted the mood among fans in north London as the club are all-but out of the Premier League title race and have succumbed to a disappointing showing in Europe.

With Wenger facing one of the most challenging seasons on and off the field during his 21-year reign, the Frenchman refused to blame his players for their recent form but would not clarify the board’s stance on his own position.

“I don’t know,” Wenger answered when asked if he will manage Arsenal in the Champions League again.

“You always write for headlines, I am here to speak about football not my future. I think tonight there was no uncertainty in our game. I felt that we played very well and it was more the decisions of the referee who killed the game.

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