Champions League: Arsenal Manager Arsene Wenger Implores Referee to Not Kill the Game Against Bayern Munich
By Deepak Vikraman | March 11, 2014 4:24 PM EST
Arsene Wenger played the referee card ahead of Arsenal's how-on-earth-are-we-gonna-do-it second leg against Bayern Munich, asking the official to call the game in a "fair" manner.
Arsenal have had poor decisions go against them in the past in the Champions League, with the manager pointing out the perceived injustices in the 2006 final against Barcelona when Jens Lehmann was sent off and that red card for Robin Van Persie, a second yellow for kicking the ball away, against the same opponents in the last 16 second leg in 2011.
Wojciech Szczesny was sent off in the first leg against Bayern at the Emirates three weeks ago, with the German side then going on to win 2-0. Wenger implored referee Svein Oddvar Moen - the man who will be in charge of the second leg at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday - to keep the errors to a minimum.
"We played now a few times with 10 men in Europe and under always very special circumstances," said the manager. "In the Champions League final, now against Bayern and also at Barcelona when we were in a position to qualify.
"It's the only time that I've seen that since I watched European football when Van Persie was sent off. So I hope we will get a fair chance to play with 11 against 11 until the end."
Most managers in the game feel when it comes to big games, referees from the big leagues should be appointed. For instance a ref from either the La Liga or the Serie A would perhaps have been more acceptable than the Norwegian Moen for the game against a Bundesliga side and an English Premier League team.
"What you want is a good referee and I think the closer they are to the tough leagues, the more chances they have to detect the tricks that can decide a game," Wenger added. "But that's the same for Bayern.
"I don't know the referee. Honestly, I never look before the game. I never have any preconceived ideas. Sometimes, when the referees have big experience, it helps them to get out of tricky situations.
"You do not want players to stay on the pitch who deserve to be sent off but you do not want the interest of the game to be killed for reasons that are a bit tricky."
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