DOWN HE GOES: Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (left) challenges Bayern Munich’s Arjen Robben. The goalkeeper was sent off as Bayern won the match 2-0. AFPpic
ARSENE WENGER accused Bayern Munich of resorting to cynical tactics as 10-man Arsenal were left facing elimination from the Champions League after a 2-0 defeat against the holders.
Wenger’s side are on the verge of crashing out of Europe’s elite club competition in the last 16 at the hands of Bayern for the second successive season following a frustrating first leg loss at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday.
The result was hard to take for Gunners boss Wenger, who was infuriated by what he perceived as Bayern’s theatrical attempts to influence Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli by making the most of any contact from Arsenal players.
Wenger’s rant seemed harsh on Bayern, who made their class tell after an early wobble when Mesut Ozil’s penalty was saved by Manuel Neuer before Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off for conceding a spot-kick with a foul on Arjen Robben.
Bayern’s David Alaba missed the penalty, but Pep Guardiola’s team eventually made their numerical superiority pay thanks to second half goals from Germany midfielders Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller.
Wenger was convinced Robben had conned Rizzoli to win the penalty that swung the balance of the match.
The Frenchman made a diving gesture on the touchline just after the incident and stuck to his guns when asked to give his view on Bayern’s antics.
“Robben made more of it,” Wenger said. “He has enough experience to make the most of it and Bayern made the most of every single contact.
“We are not used to that in England. Fouls were given that are not given in the Premier League.
“The referee made a decision with the penalty that killed the game.
“The regret I have is he decided that Wojciech misjudged the situation, but there was no clear desire to make a foul.
“I just feel frustrated. It was a great game until halftime.
“The sending off changed the game, it killed it. Until then it was top quality, but in the second half it was boring, it was one-way traffic.”
Bayern boss Guardiola wouldn’t be drawn on Wenger’s criticism, but he felt Rizzoli made the right decision with Szczesny’s red card.