Arsenal FC manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben is a “good diver” and can make the most out of anything.
Bayern won a penalty in the second half after former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben went down in the box under pressure from Laurent Koscielny. The replay showed that the Dutchman went down a bit too easily and this provided Bayern with the opportunity to win the match, along with the tie. But Lukasz Fabianski made a fantastic save from Thomas Muller to keep the score level and provide a deserving draw for the Gunners.
Meanwhile, Robben’s antics on the field created huge furore among the Arsenal supporters in social media. The winger made a lot of attempts at winning fouls with his theatrical reactions and this put the referee under a lot of pressure to make the right call. Arsene Wenger criticized Robben for diving in his post-match press conference and insisted that he is good at making the most out of any situation.
“Robben is very good at getting the maximum of nothing and he is a great player and as well a very good diver, but it is part of it.
“He is a fantastic player, I would not deny that, he’s one of the best players in the world.
“But he gets in front of a player and then he slows down and goes down. He gets the free-kicks.
“That’s where we spoke about yesterday that the referee, if he gives him a yellow card on the first one when he goes down, he will not do it again.” – The Arsenal manager said.
He also talked about the incident in the first leg which saw Wojciech Szczesny being dismissed after bringing down the Dutch international inside the box in the first half.
“Even UEFA has come out and said that they have to rethink that problem. First of all, for me, it was not a goalscoring opportunity because if Szczesny is really shrewd, he can get a foul against him as well for a high foot off Robben.
“This situation can be analysed in both ways, where you can as well give a foul against Robben for his foot being too high. If you look again, where the ball goes after the control, you will see that he never had a goal chance because the ball was at the feet of Sagna. So it was never a goalscoring opportunity.” – Wenger added.
Arsenal showed great defensive organisation at the back to keep Bayern Munich at bay till half time, despite the German side dominating possession. Pep Guardiola’s men did score in the second half though when Bastian Schweinsteiger put the ball into the back of the net after being picked up by a lovely pass by Franck Ribery. But Arsenal responded immediately and Lukas Podolski robbed the ball from Philip Lahm and rifled it past Manuel Neuer into the roof of the let to provide the Gunners with some hope. Bayern could have sealed it though in the closing stages, but Thomas Muller’s penalty kick was saved by Fabianski and the match ended in a draw.
Wenger was pleased with the defensive performance of his side but regretted the fact that his side failed to make the most of the spell in the second half when Bayern looked a bit vulnerable at the back.
“We had to defend a lot in the first half, but we knew that being in the game at half-time we had a good chance to win the game.
“I believe that in the second half the opportunities were there, but overall over the two games I feel that what made the difference is the decision to send our goalkeeper off in the first game.
“We played a 1-1 tonight and that decision had a huge impact.
“It was on the same player who got a penalty again tonight and that’s the regret we have.
“Spirit wise, we have everything until the end.
“Good luck to Bayern, they are a good side but I think they are this season more vulnerable than last year.
”Our defending, our spirit was good. The frustration we had was the last 20 minutes I felt that Bayern was very vulnerable defensively and that we didn’t take advantage of that.
“We always missed the first pass, but I felt the situations were there where we could have made more of it.
“At the end of the day, we never got them really under pressure.
“Even at 1-1, you could see they became suddenly nervous, but because we never managed to make it 2-1, of course you could not really see how they would have responded.
“They are a good team, they are a great side with great players. They played well but we still have regrets over the two games.” – Wenger said.
The North London derby is up next for the Gunners and they would carry a lot of positives into that game from this performance.