Van Persie: Red card a joke

2011-03-09 07:59

London - Arsenal's Dutch striker Robin van Persie described his sending-off against Barcelona as "a total joke" after his team's 3-1 defeat at the Nou Camp ended their hopes of a place in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Van Persie, who was declared fit for the game only earlier on Tuesday, was shown a second yellow card by experienced Swiss referee Massimo Busacca in the 56th minute when he took a shot at goal after being flagged for offside.

He said Arsenal felt betrayed, while club manager Arsene Wenger said he told the referee "face to face" what he thought of his decision.

"The sending-off cost us the game," Wenger who had a furious exchange with the referee immediately after the final whistle, told Sky Sports.

Van Persie told Sky: "My sending-off had a big influence, and in my opinion it was a total joke.

"How can I hear his whistle with 95 000 people jumping up - how can I hear that for God's sake? Please explain that."

Told there was one second between the referee whistling and Van Persie shooting, the player replied: "That makes it even worse.

"I could understand if there was four, five or six (seconds) in between, if you make a chip or something, I could understand, but this way, one second from his whistle to my shot is just a joke."

"He has been bad all evening, whistling against us. I don't know why he was here tonight(Tuesday). I tried to explain to him I didn't hear the whistle but he just said: 'second yellow card' - unbelievable.

"We feel a little bit betrayed, when it was 1-1 it was all to play for."

Wenger added that the referee, "must absolutely never have played football to do that. I told him what I thought about his decision face to face."

He admitted that his team were beaten by "a terrific side, the best in Europe," but added: "I am convinced that if it had stayed 11 against 11 we could have won this tie tonight. It's very hard to accept."


  • zule - 2011-03-09 08:15

    These football refereees just get worse and worse...they are a bunch of wankers

      gizzy - 2011-03-09 08:58

      Totally agree! I don't know why the players bother to pitch up for games. Just let the referee decide as they amke a mockery of the game.

  • RED MANC - 2011-03-09 08:15

    Total Football as only Barca can play it .

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 08:37

      After lastnight's game i think i can agree with kingswaings69 comment below. Yeah Barca played great football but they were in danger of being knocked out and got some important assistence from that swiss idiot who has always been a pain in Arsenals side. I think the organisers at UEFA wants to end English dominance where we saw atleast 3 English teams reach the quarters and semis each season. So goodluck to Man Utd and Chelsea.

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 08:37

      Oh and Tottenham

      Suckerz - 2011-03-09 11:19

      Gunner Nash and all the Arsenal supporters from a Staunch UNITED fan... You guys got screwed. You got place over advertisement boards at the Camp Nou and got lubed up. It is a shame that you guys got nailed like so and i hope that UEFA does something about it. It is crap and i do not like to see a side get nailed that way.

      alwaysthinking365 - 2011-03-09 11:22

      @Gunner Nash: 2010 Champions League semi-finalists were Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Lyon and Barcelona. English domination?

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 11:46

      @ alwaysthinking: and the 5 years prior to that? I think 2010 is where the screwing started. 2009 Finals: Man Utd, Barca 2009 semis: Arsenal, Man Utd, Chelsea, Barca; 2008 Quter finals Arsenal, Liverpool, Man Utd, Chelsea and the rest 2008 Semi Finals Liverpool, Chelsea, Man Utd 2008 Finals Chelsea, Man Utd 2007 Finals Liverpool, AC Milan 2006 Finals Arsenal, Barca 2005 Finals: Liverpool, AC Milan Erm u were saying?

      alwaysthinking365 - 2011-03-09 12:04

      @Gunner Nash: the last time an English team made the semis of the champions league was 2-6 years back, if you are referring to English domination then 2 years back and more doesn't qualify, surely? Coz if it does then the Springboks are still dominating the All Blacks hey??? Yeah, not quite right - unfortunately! You are the type that would have thought England were favorites to win the soccer world cup last year! Be honest, you did didn't you? Since 1930 England have won the world cup once in 1966 and made the semis one other time in 1990 and their fans will have us believe they are a soccer superpower. Ridiculous! Arsenal were beaten by a better side, a MUCH better side. Let go of the conspiracy theories and live with the reality of the situation

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 12:20

      @ alwaysthinking: I really hope Barca gets Tottenham in the next round, so that u can witness the strenght of the English Premiership, and no i never supported England, kinda stupid to think an Arsenal supporter would be supporting England. I support the English Premiership as it is the most exciting league in the world for me. I tried following Bundis league and La Liga but it never really excited me

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 12:32

      IMHO i think that Barca are able to grow so strong as a team due to the weakness of La Liga as they face no real competition on a regular basis and are able to settle down and gel as a unit week after week. The more they play/practice the easier it gets and boosts their confidence incredibly. I doubt they can come out and perform that way in the Premiership week after week.

      always thinking - 2011-03-09 16:23

      @Gunner Nash: I agree that the English premiership is the most exciting, but I think it has something to do with understanding the history as it is something I grew up with in SA and assume you too. If we properly understood the history of La Liga and the teams, it would likely mean more to us. But yes, the premiership is compelling entertaining viewing. I do think that the premiership has more DEPTH but I don't agree with your assessment that La Liga is weak. It is not. Weaker yes, but weak no. They just happen to have 2 teams that are reaching ridiculous heights they are so strong. and measured against them the rest are nowhere near. Real Madrid are also brilliant but have the misfortune of playing in the same league as this remarkable Barca side. If they don't play each other along the way then they will likely play each other in the final. Not because of any conspiracy theory but because they are the best. We will never know the answer but i think Barca would sweep all in the premiership away too, week after week. They are a truly remarkable team. Arsenal are a REAL quality team, they are a powerhouse in my opinion. and to be fair Barca toyed with them last night. 68% possession and arsenal not even 1 shot on target.

  • kingswing69 - 2011-03-09 08:26

    the people who organise the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE do not want English Teams in the game

      gizzy - 2011-03-09 09:00

      Bunch of bloody crooks the lot of them. Wonder how much was bet on that game last night? Ummmm... For a referee to send a player off like that, there must have been something in it for him.

      Pieter - 2011-03-09 09:29

      Barca 19 shots at goal 10 on target Arsenal 0 shots at goal in 90 mins.. No more talking..

      AJ - 2011-03-09 10:47

      @Pieter - lookingnat Arsenal over 90 minutes when they were a man down is over simplifying it....just a touch. Whether they were going to be better or win against Barca on the night is of course debateable, but the Arsenal performance in second half conceding 2 goals cannot be seen inin the original context. No more guesswork.

      alwaysthinking365 - 2011-03-09 11:27

      @Pieter: I checked those stats because I couldnt believe the zero shots. and its spot on. crazy stuff. Barcelona 68% possession. what a team. there is no way Arsenal would have held out, even if they had 12 men. was a shocking red card decision though

  • Random - 2011-03-09 08:30

    Hahaha. Where the Fergie haters now?

      with respect - 2011-03-09 08:42

      exactly. when fergie blamed the ref in the chelsea match last week, everyone said "take it on the chin, lots of decision go his way." when arsenal get a rough call, suddenly it's fine to complain!

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 08:57

      Guys guys do u realise that Man Utd is in line to get screwed should they come up against tha Spanish giants? Who wants to bet, the organisers wants a Barca vs Real Madrid final? Atleast now we can concentrate on the weekend's game against Man Utd as well as the league. So will Fergie risk key players ahead of his CL match in midweek

      gizzy - 2011-03-09 09:01

      Two different games! Even though I did agree with Fergie.

      mikedek - 2011-03-09 12:04

      This is why the managers need to have a say about the refs performance.It is the only way that poor referees will be exposed.But what will happen is Fergie and the managers will be silenced and the standard of the refs will continue to collapse. Refs are not able to keep up with the modern game(players have become to professional even in their fouls etc).What will happen in the future is Fergie and other managers will be given prepared scripts by the FA to be read after the matches.

  • Gunner - 2011-03-09 08:32

    Agree 100% with Van Persie ,but credit must be given to Barca to make the extra man count and to actually win the tie.

      with respect - 2011-03-09 08:43

      exactly. when fergie blamed the ref in the chelsea match last week, everyone said "take it on the chin, lots of decision go his way." when wenger blamed the ref (last night and on the weekend), people have no problem. funny...

      gizzy - 2011-03-09 09:01

      Barca had an extra man and a referee to thank.

      Only Truth - 2011-03-09 12:58

      Gunner Nash, are you working somewhere in the somebody's company or you are conducting this debate from the comfort of your home???

      Balmy - 2011-03-09 21:41

      you only need to look at the game stats to see which team was the better team on the night and this includes the period with Van Persie on the field. It's like Gary Bailey said last night had Arsenal snuck in a another goal it would have been a traversty of justice as BARCA completely outplayed Arsenal, like they do most other teams they play. Whilst I agree the sending off was ludicrous, I certainly don't understand this assumption by some that had Van Persie been on the field Arsenal would have made it through.

  • Nyiko - 2011-03-09 08:34

    Mr Ref did cost us a game yes. but the boys need to learn a simple thing in footbal - clear the ball out of the box when you are in danger. easy!!

      Balmy - 2011-03-09 21:53

      You had to be in the game to be taken out of it and quite frankly Arsenal were not in the game and the only reason they even came close to being in with a shout was because of the goal gifted to them by BARCA.

  • Brian - 2011-03-09 08:35

    I suppport Arsenal but on the night they were outclasssed,I also think that refs have to much influence on the outcome of games.

  • Collen - 2011-03-09 08:36

    It was a total joke indeed. I watched the game and that was not supposed to be a yellow card. It's true that there was a second in between the referee whistling and Persie taking the shot. And again, I believe, had it been 11 against 11, Asernal was looking good to win or draw.

      gizzy - 2011-03-09 09:02

      The first card was a soft one as well. Strange how no Barcelona players were carded!!!

      kurtisflow - 2011-03-09 09:10

      Im just wondering what game you were watching..."Arsenal was looking good to win or draw" arsenal didnt take a single shot at goal the whole game, had no more than 30% of the ball, and the ref helped you'll out by not awarding messi a penality in the first half. i admit the ref was useless, but so was arsenal, the were like school boys on the field. The sending off of VP was actually a Godsend as they played a bit better with 10 men on the field.

  • Andrew - 2011-03-09 08:41

    It is a big pity that a game at this level ends up being all about a the referee. It ruined the game which was up to that point an excellent game of stratagy. It was like watching to grandmasters of chess and then one grandmaster being told to take his queen off the board for no reason. The referee's bad call destroyed the game. This is not good for football!!

      Ambiorix - 2011-03-09 14:29

      Hahaha @ take his 'queen' off ....sorry that's funny

  • FactFile - 2011-03-09 08:45

    That desicion ruined the game!

  • Bob Connelly - 2011-03-09 08:57

    There has never been a better example of a game of football that supports the arguments for a TV referee to be introduced. Some of the players attitudes and subsequent behaviour were just appalling and the referee quickly became a pawn. He was duped over and over again into wrong decision after wrong decision. He should be made to watch the game in slow motion for a month or so... He will resign out of embarrassment.

  • Onil Rodriguez - 2011-03-09 09:00

    Winner Wenger should have adopted a 6-3-1 formation or even 7-3-0 the moment he had the match drawn to save the tie. Arsenal was unliky with the ref and has a poor manager who, in over 10 years, won a couple of domestic cups. It is also sad to see Arsenal without a single English player.

      jacques.maass - 2011-03-09 11:09

      i'm a man u fan and love the english premier league but you dont know sh*t about english football so stfu!! arsenal got 2 english first team footballers you tard named theo walcott and jack willshere!! point!

  • Gorilla - 2011-03-09 09:02

    football players are the worst mannered, over protected, soft, pretentious bunch of players that walk on sports fields. they need to realise they are accountable for their bad manners and bad sportsmanship. maybe if they all started behaving like sportsmen and not cheats that would go some way to making the game worth watching.

  • AJ - 2011-03-09 09:04

    Barca - great team no doubt. That said and done, that sending off was a disgrace. There would have been similar sending offs in every game of football if this was the case. An absolute shocker.

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 09:21

      didn't expect that from die hard AJ, Respect! lol we know Rooney would be sent off in every game but yeah Massimo Busacca for plonker of the month...

      Suckerz - 2011-03-09 11:24

      Dude, It would be more than just Rooney. Sides would be down to 9 or even 8 players if refs do what that moron did. Respect to Barca coz they put the ball in the back of the net, but I was betting English even though MUFC was not playing. Arsenal got robbed, plain and simple.

  • Shonay - 2011-03-09 09:06

    Second yellow card was not deserved, but Van Persie did commit an offense prior to all this (where he had purposefully hit a player from the opposition in the face having just had a small quarrel just seconds before that) - which the referee just turned the other way and simply ignored. Therefore the ref had to issue the second yellow card when the next offensive play was made. There were a number of decisions that went Arsenal's way too which simply shouldn't have, yet Arsenal could not take advantage of it. But at the end of the day, Arsenal is out and Barcelona is in - Get Over It Now and stop complaining.

  • Vince - 2011-03-09 09:07

    Stop moaning, the referee should have given Van Persie a straight red card for pushing Alves deliberately in the face. He did not even make an attempt to play the ball, definately a proffessional foul.

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 09:24

      Vince please tell us all which team u support before i comment... Oh what the hell, if Van P should have been given a straight red than so should Rooney, don't u think? kinda similar incidents...

      Dazer - 2011-03-09 12:41

      Prior to that the very same Van Persie was grabbed by the neck by Abidal, so Abidal should have been off before that incident.

  • thato - 2011-03-09 09:09

    let's pettition for the introduction of technology into the game, we won't have to comment like this! macpanel

  • Albo - 2011-03-09 09:11

    If this had happened to UTD there would be a storm of comments saying stop blaming the ref, you were outplayed etc... i.e. the Chelsea game. Kinda SUCKS doesn`t it??? Anyways, the football Barca plays is ridiculous!! I can`t see any team beating them. Messi is pure class!!

      AjaxFiko - 2011-03-09 11:02

      Are you blind? Didn't you see Arsenal beat them? They even lost to Hercules for crying out loud, and they would've and should've lost last night's encounter if it wasn't for shitty refereeing!

  • Debonaire - 2011-03-09 09:13

    Messi's first goal was Off Side Disastrous refereeing - should stick to making cheese and army knives

      mikedek - 2011-03-09 12:11

      You are the only one that saw that!! Stick to rugby as it does not appear that you know much about the off side rule!!

      tendanic - 2011-03-09 16:09

      Clearly, you should stick to your pizzas

  • Nawaf Fakier - 2011-03-09 09:14

    Uefa is the only reason the ref made that decision. They are behind Barca to the bone! The same thing happened with Chelsea 2 years ago when they were denied 4 clear penalties in one game and then barca score in injury time. Ridiculous is all I can say.

      tendanic - 2011-03-09 16:08

      Ya ya ya.......sounds so sour.......are those grapes????

  • Claude - 2011-03-09 09:14

    Somebody was paid by someone for that Red Card - There is too much money in sport these days so it opens the way for this sort of thing.

  • spkweza - 2011-03-09 09:16

    A lot of factors affected the last nights game. I'll just highlight a few 1. Obviously the referee was against Arsenal from the start to the end of the game, the red card & the penalty. His was absolutely terrible, he gave the penalty after a protest from Barca players & what makes it worst is the Barca player faked the foul and the ref was just behide him.EUFA must do something about him!!. 2. Fabregas didn't want to play at all. I don't believe that he was out of the game, he just didn't want to play. He gave Barca the goal. Arsenal gave him a chance to play, when Barca didn't & he betrays Arsenal like that!!! the manager must sell him. He is a bad apple. 3. Nicolas Bentner missed a golden opportunity. You don't miss chances like that against a team like Barca. 4. The manager took to long to make some substitutions.

  • AjaxFiko - 2011-03-09 10:52

    Match fixing?

  • JHBBOY - 2011-03-09 11:01

    Why oh why does a big game like this not have a high calibre ref? Massimo Busacca is Swiss and with all due respect Switzerland does not have a league full of superstars and awesome talent. The last 16 stage all the way to the final should only employ refs from bigger football nations like Germany, Italy, Spain, England, France and perhaps Holland...year after year you see big games like last night with refs from places like Latvia, Hungary, Switzerland, go google Massimo Busacca and you'll see he just doesnt have a clue when it comes to big games!

  • Vince - 2011-03-09 11:01

    Gunner, certainly not United. I support the blue half of Manchester

      Gunner Nash - 2011-03-09 11:21

      Shame u had to settle with the inferior half of Manchester, U might have Manchester on ur shirt but we all know there are only one team from Manchester that really matters...

      Paul - 2011-03-09 11:48

      Vince I shall report that comment... blue half of there is only one team in manchester and it is a red team

  • Vince - 2011-03-09 11:38

    Sorry you seem so disappointed gunner, but I have been supporting the citizens since 1964 and the only team that matters in Manchester is City as they have the larger share of the Manchester support. United may have the biggest support world wide but not in Manchester. Been to visit both grounds in my life time and this was verified on both tours of the grounds. So What team matters most in Manchester? CITYYYYYYYYYYYY you cry baby

      Bandit - 2011-03-09 17:03

      Sounds like you have only been there once buddy

  • Paul - 2011-03-09 11:46

    just look Man u, Tottenham and Chelsea will be playing against the refs aswell...they dont like the English teams...

      always thinking - 2011-03-09 17:16

      this persecution complex appears to be widespread ....

  • Grant - 2011-03-09 11:47

    I wrote an article about this type of thing a while back. A Pakistani spin-bowler was investigated for spot-fixing because he bowled a few no-balls that seemed strange. Do you think the referee will be investigated? Not on your life. If you were a dodgey Bookie and wanted to have a game fixed, would you approach Van Persie to deliberately miss goals, the keeper to deliberately let some through, or the ref, who wont be questioned. Its a no-brainer as far as I'm concerned, but hey...lets rather respect the referee's right to never be questioned ;)

  • Yousuf - 2011-03-09 12:22

    from a man u fan , this ref is totally weak,For many years , he keeps making pathetic decision, If anyone watched post match , Robert Marawa pointed them out the words of Sir Alex............. "next week he will be in charge of another football match" disgraceful

  • Bandit - 2011-03-09 15:07

    Alex F is a God - maybe you turkeys shuold listen up when the man speaks and now let blind jealousy get the better of you. See how it feel when the ref messes up the game.

  • trackyness - 2011-03-09 15:31

    Did nobody see the incident with Abidal (who quite clearly had his hands around RVP's neck)? And he walked away with nothing? Not even a slap on the wrist? @ Shonay, just because of the first incident, it does not make the second yellow card deserved? Are you even thinking straight? ONE second is all that seperated the whistle from the kick... (In a crowd of 90 000 whistling and screaming fans)... Ref was absolutely shocking!! @ with respect, to be honest EVERY time United loser Fergie has something to say about the ref... But he was very quiet after the Rooney incident off the ball that everyone missed (which should have had him banned for at least 2 games) Honestly! I have never known fans more biased than United fans!

  • tendanic - 2011-03-09 16:03

    At all of you fellas who think you are right: NOT TAKING SIDE......its is utter stupid and defies the beauty of logic to say the ref cost arsenal the game (1) RVP was nowhere in the game for the whole of the first half...he was not even assisting in the defence...which is what arsenal was resorting to. Hence my conclusion is that whether he was in or not, arsenal were still going to suffer the same onslaught they suffered in the first half, WITH POSSIBILITIES OF MANY BARCA GOALS (2) The missed opportunities by the likes of Villa and Messi shows that the inadequacies were just on barca's side, not more about how tough the arsenal defence was. On a better day, arsenal could have suffered more goals....even before the red card. (3) Arsenal did nothing to deserve the goal that brought them back into the game, so that was pure luck. When some people here says the ref cost arsenal a game i actually wonder what they mean. (4) It would have been a total injustice to the footballing fraternity if arsenal won......that would have been the easiest win to get, given the ordeals they were faced with....(70 % possession, over 8 shots at goals on target etc). (5) The ref did get the call on RVP wrong, but that would have not changed the outcome.........arsenal were not going to defend the much as they failed in the first half

      Balmy - 2011-03-09 21:50

      Agree with you 100%

  • steve - 2011-03-09 17:18

    The whole yellow card system needs a review, collect 4 yellows cards and get a two match suspension, after the game has ended, or some similar sanction. The punishment has to fit the crime, that offense should be a "half yellow" as are some other "yellow card" offenses, make them an orange card.

  • Siyabonga - 2011-03-09 18:57

    I thnk the ref made a gud decision in giving van persie a red card. I dnt understand what the big fuss is about coz it has bin said a countless number of times to players not to kick the ball after the whistle has bin blown. And van persie plz,u ddnt hear the whistle ? if there were 95000 vuvuzelas blowing i would believe u bt in this case wu are u tryin to fool ? Either way,barcelona shud have won the first leg in any case,Arsenal were reali lucky to win that game,it shud have bin 4-0 to barcelona bt that is futbal. Personally the english premiership has the most boring futbal,bt bcoz of brits nd their arrogance anything thats english is superior. Lastly english teams play wit pick teams,that means they take the best players frm around the world,if it were onli english players, the big four in england wud be the big paupers in europe. I support Arsenal in england coz they are the onli english team that plays gud futbal,bt against barcelona you have to say that they were totally outclassed. Congratulations barca !

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