Wenger fumes at ref

2010-02-18 08:02

Portugal - Arsene Wenger accused referee Martin Hansson of gifting Porto the winning goal in the Portuguese side's 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.

The Swedish official allowed Porto to take a quick free-kick in the 52nd minute of Wednesday's game after Arsenal goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski handled a back-pass, allowing Falcao to score what proved to be the winner.

Hansson came under fire in November after failing to spot a clear handball by Thierry Henry in the build-up to France's winning goal in their World Cup qualifying play-off with the Republic of Ireland.

"It is better than a penalty. It is unbelievable that he allows Porto to play straight away and put the ball in the net. I've been in football for a long time and I'd never seen something like that," Wenger said.

"Either the goal-keeper keeps the ball until everybody's back, or he gives the ball back. The rule is basically encouraging the players to be unfair.

"You cannot accept the way the referee treated this rule. It's impossible to defend. If you give the ball back, the guy gives a pass and it's a goal.

"From a situation where there was no goal chance at all, the referee gives them just a goal. It's difficult to understand. Maybe I'm not intelligent enough."

Wenger also queried the decision to award the free-kick, arguing that Sol Campbell had not deliberately passed the ball back to his goalkeeper, and said Arsenal should have been given a penalty for a foul on Tomas Rosicky shortly before Porto's second goal.

"It was a strong penalty appeal for us on Rosicky that was unfortunately turned down," he said.

Wenger's opposite number Jesualdo Ferreira dismissed Arsenal's complaints about Falcao's contentious strike and said it owed more to the intelligence of his players than any perceived incompetence on the part of the referee.

"It was a legal goal," said Ferreira. "It's a situation where coaches don't know if they want to slap their own players or take it out on the referee. But it was a piece of play born from the intelligence of the Porto players.

"Wenger is angry but Thierry Henry scored a similar goal when he was playing for Arsenal. The goal came from our intelligence and gives us a definite advantage.

"We played a very good game and proved our quality, which was the main objective. The quality of the team is a source of satisfaction and shows that we are only going to get better."

Campbell headed Arsenal level in the 18th minute after Fabianski had given the home side the lead with a soft own goal, but Wenger refused to blame his second-choice goalkeeper.

"I don't want to comment individually on Lukasz's performance. I do not want to judge him in front of everybody," Wenger said.

"We lose as a team and we win as a team. Porto played well but we have a chance to turn it around in the second game and I am convinced we will do it. Of course we hope that justice will be done."

Wenger was, however, enthused by the performance of former England international Campbell, who turned in a committed defensive display in his first Champions League game since Arsenal's 2006 final defeat by Barcelona.

"He had a decent game," said the Frenchman. "He's disappointed by the second goal, but he scored an important goal that could prove to be vital in qualification."

The second leg will take place at Arsenal's Emirates Stadium on March 9.


  • Lamps_8 - 2010-02-18 08:11

    This is exactly what I expected to see on the football 24 headline when I came online this morning.Typical Arsene Whinger...Always blaming the ref...

  • Nash the Gunner - 2010-02-18 08:37

    @ Lamps8: so u saying that wasn't a penalty on Rosicky, and u also saying Arsenal wasn't hard done by the ref taking the ball out of Fabianski hand and placing it nicely for the porto player to take a quick freekick, with him(the ref) even blocking Sol Cambell in the process, atleast none of the Arsenal players reacted like ur precious blues after their loss to Barca in the semis last year... all things aside, i think Wenger should leave out Sagne and Diaby out for the rest of the season, why Diaby didn't take that shot in the dying moments i dont know and wtf Fabianski? i never saw a team being gifted such soft goals before...

  • Gunner - 2010-02-18 08:53

    As an Arsenal supporter, i must admit Arsenal only have themselves to blame. Two embarrassing blunders from Fabianski turned the tie to Porto's favour...i do think Arsenal will be able to turn it around at the Emirates though.

  • Rodders - 2010-02-18 09:15

    @ Lamps_8: Wenger does have a point though - the ref has asked Fabianski for the ball. the keeper passes it to the ref, considering it 'safe' (since the opposition can't take a quick free kick while the ref is holding the ball, after all), he walks back to goal to prepare the wall for the free kick and while his back is turned, the ref passes Porto the ball and they score - it's a bit like when Ireland scored against the Springboks after the ref had told John Smit to go talk to his players.... ...oh, and the penalty was about as stonewall as you get, I cannot understand how the ref missed it. (that's not to say the score didn't reflect the game - Porto certainly deserved to win).

  • Dgs - 2010-02-18 09:18

    @Nash the Gunner. I didn't see the game so I cannot comment one way or the other, but lets face it, Arsene Wenger is worse than Alex Ferguson in that regard. 90% of the time whenever Arsenal loose, Wenger tends to blame the ref.

  • Lamps_8 - 2010-02-18 09:54

    Chelsea semi final against Barca was completely different from Arsenal v Porto last night.There were blatant hand balls in last years semi final and it was obvious why Drogba & Ballack reacted the way they did.Arsenhole were caught completely unaware.Porto put away their chances when you couldn't.So well played Porto,Stop your whinging gooners!

  • JustinD - 2010-02-18 10:34

    Porto did enough to win but i think the return leg will see Arsenal through. The away goal with home ground and regulars back should be enough to see off Porto......I just hope we(MU) get you in the next will be the easiest route to the semi's.........

  • Nash the Gunner - 2010-02-18 10:50

    @ Lamps8, how was Arsenal caught unaware, please show me the clip where Porto was in a goal scoring position prior to the incident, or was it the ref that put them in that position? and its not that Arsenal never took their chances, Porto keeper made some brilliant saves to keep them out...Porto players also done a good job keeping Cesc put pf the game with their dirty tactics, how many fouls did he suffer again, i think i lost count @ 10 or something, Diaby and Sagne was just shi on the night...

  • Adrian Sherratt - 2010-02-18 11:28

    I'm a huge Arsenal fan and have been for the last 25 years. Wenger will need to learn that he can't continue to put rubbish in the goal and expect good performances. Arsenal haven't had a quaility goalie since Seaman left more than 10 years ago. Wake up Wenger and spend some of that CASH you so carefully gaurd. Even Arsenal's first choice keeper is average at best.

  • Adrian Sherratt - 2010-02-18 11:29

    I'm a huge Arsenal fan and have been for the last 25 years. Wenger will need to learn that he can't continue to put rubbish in the goal and expect good performances. Arsenal haven't had a quaility goalie since Seaman left more than 10 years ago. Wake up Wenger and spend some of that CASH you so carefully gaurd. Even Arsenal's first choice keeper is average at best.

  • alan - 2010-02-18 12:18

    @Lamps_8 these are the first decent comments i have ever read by you. yesterdays treatments must have been good.

  • Tpluz - 2010-02-18 12:26

    Look Gooners. We got the away goal.So I am sure Porto will come to the Emirates to defend like their lives depend on a draw and that's where we will punish them.Once we score the first goal,they will be forced to come out and play and then the floodgates will open.

  • Sipho Nxumalo - 2010-02-18 14:48

    The players of Arsenal must just stay alert until the last whistle and that's it.I remember Henry did it against Man United .

  • Georgie Best - 2010-02-18 17:05

    I knew Wenger will b*tch about the quick free kick. I laughed when I saw it happen because it is exactly what Henry did in the Premier league, twice if I remember correctly. Once was against Chelsea in 2004 they went to be undefeated in the league. So, he accepted it then, now he mourns it just sums him up as a whinger when it doesn't favour him, ar*sehole!

  • care2bfair - 2010-03-02 02:30

    never seen arsenal win the european champs, but anyway... the portuguese will never be good enough, even if they had won the cup every single year, seems like.

  • emmaus madau - 2010-03-09 11:01

    the ref"s decision was the best but HE gave us more power to thrash Porto in Emirates

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