Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has criticized Barcelona players for exaggerating contact, insisting that the Catalan side did their utmost to influence match official Cuneyt Cakir as the Gunners lost 2-0 at home.
The loss represents a potentially fatal blow to Arsenal’s hopes of advancing from the Champions League round of sixteen tie and while Wenger congratulated Barcelona for outplaying his side, he made his thoughts about perceived play-acting clear.
“They are tricky, you know,” he said in his post match press conference. “When they go down, they shout.
“They never go down silent so that influences the referee every single time.
“All of them [Barcelona players], not one of them goes down without shouting.”
The Frenchman was, however, adamant that Arsenal’s undoing was in their lack of clinical finishing as a number of chances were squandered.
“The way we finished our chances is a problem. I felt in the final third we missed something,” said Wenger.
“Barcelona are through 95% but we want to go there and play. We will not go there and have absolutely no chance,” he added.
“The regret I had was once we looked like we dominated the game, we give the goal away. Similar to Monaco last season, naive, and that is frustrating,” Wenger told BT Sport.
“When we looked like we could win the game, we just gave it away.”