Besiktas vs Arsenal: Arsene Wenger labels referee 'very bad' after 'unbelievable' red card for Aaron Ramsey

Gunners manager unimpressed by decisions during Champions League play-off

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The Independent Football

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger labelled the performance of the referee during last night's Champions League play-off with Besiktas as "very bad".

The Frenchman was incensed by two yellow cards meted out to Aaron Ramsey that led to the Welshman's dismissal 11 minutes before the end of the first-leg.

"Neither the first nor the second yellow card was deserved for Aaron Ramsey," Wenger said in relation to the Serbian official Milorad Mazic.

"When you see some of the fouls that have been made tonight and we go home with Ramsey (given) a red card, it is a bit unbelievable.

"In the second half the performance of the referee was very bad.

"Ramsey's second yellow card, I cannot see where that comes from, it was a huge decision.

"I felt just a lot was wrong in the second half but, overall, it was a difficult game maybe to referee as well because everybody did fight for every ball, so maybe it was not easy for the referee as well."

The dismissal for Ramsey was the first in his senior club career, however he was sent off in a World Cup qualifier against Scotland in 2003.


The referee came into the match with something of a reputation. He was criticised for his decision making during the World Cup in Brazil with  Portugal manager Paulo Bento claiming the official "showed bias" during his team's 4-0 defeat to eventual champions Germany. Meanwhile, Iran manager Carlos Querioz accused Mazic of not being at the right "level" after his side's loss to Argentina and wondered aloud: "How can this guy sleep tonight, or for the rest of his life?"

Arsene Wenger pictured during the 0-0 draw with Besiktas


During last night's match, which ended 0-0, Mazic also found time to send Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic to the stands in injury time.

The second-leg at the Emirates will be played on Wednesday.