Arsene Wenger blames 'scandalous' refereeing after Arsenal's crushing defeat to Bayern Munich

Wenger was furious with Tasos Sidiropoulos for awarding the visitors a penalty when he had failed to punish Xabi Alonso's first-half challenge on Theo Walcott

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Arsene Wenger launched an extraordinary attack on referee Tasos Sidiropoulos after his Arsenal side were humbled 10-2 on aggregate by Bayern Munich, labelling the official's performance “unexplainable and scandalous”.

Whether Wenger serves any retrospective action from Uefa at Arsenal remains to be seen, given he refused to confirm he will manage the side in Europe again after their seventh consecutive last-16 elimination.

However, his criticism of the Greek referee is almost certain to land him in hot water with European football's governing body.

Wenger was not only irate about the decision to send off Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny, who had been shown a second-half yellow card for his trip on Robert Lewandoski, only to have it upgraded to a straight red card after consultation with his additional assistant behind the goal, but also the failure to award his side a penalty in the first half after Theo Walcott was tripped in a similar fashion by Xabi Alonso.

“It leaves me very angry, very frustrated and I think that at the moment, because we are in a difficult period also, but I think it’s absolutely unexplainable and scandalous that you can look what happened really that the guy behind the line [the additional assistant] gives the penalty, on top of that the red card,” Wenger said after Arsenal’s third consecutive 5-1 defeat by Bayern.

“Personally, I would say we put Bayern really under pressure and we were unlucky tonight because it was a 100 per cent penalty in the first half on Walcott, check it on television, and in the second half the referee killed the game. After that, it was very difficult, but the referee I think was very, very powerful for Bayern tonight.


On Lewandowski's goal, he said: “It was not only not a penalty but he was offside, and on top of that he gives us a red card. That killed us completely. Overall I must say Bayern can be a good side, but tonight they can also say thank you to the decisions of the referee in the second half.”

Arsenal have now suffered the joint-second worst defeat on aggregate in Champions League history for any side, joining the Werder Bremen outfit that lost to Lyon in 2005 and the Bayer Leverkusen team that were beaten by Barcelona in 2012 in suffering 10-2 humiliations in the last-16.

Yet Wenger felt his side were worthy of praise after the match, and despite completely collapsing after the departure of Koscielny, conceding three goals in 12 minutes, he said they succeeded in playing with “spirit and pride”.

He added: “I felt that we produced a performance with the spirit and the pride we wanted, and after that of course the story finishes badly.”

Asked if it was his most chastening night in European football, Wenger answered: “I don’t think so because we knew before the game it was difficult to qualify after the first game, but we wanted at least the minimum to go home and feel that we dealt with the situation with pride and commitment. We did, and the fact that the end result will of course not highlight the quality of our performance is very disappointing.”

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