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Manager Arsene Wenger has conceded that any hope of getting back to parity with Bayern Munich in last night’s Champions League tie ended when Laurent Koscielny was shown the straight red card.
Speaking to the Official Site in his post game press conference after the second leg five one defeat, Wenger knew the second period would’ve played out differently had Koscielny not been sent off, as that decision turned the game completely in the favour of the visitors.
‘I felt that we produced a performance with the spirit and the pride that we wanted. After that the story finishes badly. Personally, I would say that we really put Bayern under pressure and that we were really unlucky tonight because it was 100 per cent a penalty in the first half after the foul on Walcott. I checked it on television. In the second half, the referee killed the game. After that, it was very difficult but the referee was very, very powerful for Bayern tonight. At that moment in the game, not only was it not a penalty, but Lewandowski was offside. On top of that, he gave us a red card and that killed us completely. Overall I must say that Bayern are a good side, but tonight they can also say thank you to the decisions of the referee in the second half.’
With the referee clearly being a frustration with a number of decisions on the night that Wenger felt went unfairly against us, he went on to say.
‘It leaves me very angry, very frustrated and, because we are in a difficult period, it hurts even more. It`s absolutely unexplainable and scandalous. You look at what really happened, and the guy behind the line gives the penalty and the red card when the referee had given a yellow. Okay we have to take it on the chin and I have to stand up for it, and I will take a lot of criticism, but it doesn`t change my mind. We have to deal with these kinds of situations in this game but that doesn`t make them right.’
Wenger was asked directly if he felt let down by the effort of the players in the second period, and whether he felt there was a lack of leadership once Koscielny left the pitch.
‘No, I feel the referee has let us down. It`s difficult when you have to go forward and score goals. You have a deficit of four goals and you`re down to 10 men. If you go forward you can be caught on the counter-attack but if you don`t go forward then people will say, ‘Why did you not at least try to score goals?` so it`s a difficult situation. It`s an impossible situation.