Champions League: Wenger blasts Robben as Arsenal suffer Euro exit

BAYERN MUNICH 1 ARSENAL 1
(Bayern win 3-1 on aggregate)

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger hit out at Bayern winger Arjen Robben last night after his team failed to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for a fourth season in a row.

Wenger accused Robben of diving in order to win a penalty in their 2-0 first-leg defeat in which goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny was sent off.

And Wenger blasted the Dutchman again, who earned a late penalty last night – missed by substitute Thomas Muller – after Lukas Podolski had cancelled out Bastian Schweinsteiger’s opening goal.

“Robben is very good at getting the maximum out of nothing,” said the Arsenal boss. “He is a great player, but also a good diver. He gets past the player, then he actually slows down looking for the foul.

“We went out against a very good team, but we have shown we had the quality to knock them out. Overall in the two games what made the difference was the decision to send our goalkeeper off [in the first leg].

“You just want a referee to make the right decisions, it’s simple.”

Despite holding a two-goal advantage Pep Guardiola’s European champions played typically on the front foot and Schweinsteiger stung the palms of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, deputising for the suspended Szczesny, inside five minutes.

Arsenal’s first sniff at goal came after half an hour, but goalkeeper Manuel Neuer did well to hold Olivier Giroud’s header at his near post.

Bayern ended the half strongly as Mario Mandzukic headed narrowly over the crossbar and Mario Gotze saw a volley blocked by Fabianski.

Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil was substituted at half-time with a “serious” hamstring injury, that will require a scan today and almost certainly keep him out of Sunday’s north London derby at Tottenham.

Tomas Rosicky was introduced in Ozil’s place, yet still it was Bayern who posed the greater goal threat and they deservedly took the lead 10 minutes into the second half.

France winger Franck Ribery cut inside defender Bacary Sagna from the left-flank and rolled a pass into the path of Schweinsteiger to fire in from 10 yards.

Just two minutes later Arsenal levelled when Podolski dispossessed Philipp Lahm and blasted in at the near post from a tight angle.

Tame efforts from the impressive Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and teenage substitute Serge Gnabry were all the Gunners were able to muster afterwards though.

In the first minute of stoppage time Laurent Koscielny clipped Robben’s heels inside the box, and though Muller’s spot-kick was saved by Fabianski, Bayern had done enough.