'Unjust' penalty leaves the normally ice cool Wenger fuming
PUBLISHED: 13:27 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 14:56 07 September 2010
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Arsene Wenger left Anfield complaining of a great sense of injustice after Arsenal tumbled out of the Champions League 5-3 on aggregate to Liverpool on Tuesday night, writes Jem Maidment. His frustration centred around Steven Gerrard s 86th minute penal
Arsene Wenger left Anfield complaining of a "great sense of injustice" after Arsenal tumbled out of the Champions League 5-3 on aggregate to Liverpool on Tuesday night, writes Jem Maidment.
His frustration centred around Steven Gerrard's 86th minute penalty, given after a seemingly innocuous challenge by Kolo Toure on Ryan Babel.
Gerrard slotted home the spot-kick to make it 3-2 on the night before Babel himself added a fourth for the home side in injury time.
It was a cruel blow for Arsenal who had felt aggrieved after the first leg when they claimed Alex Hleb should have been awarded a penalty after being hauled down by Dirk Kuyt.
"There was a dodgy penalty and we started to lose concentration," said Wenger.
"Over the two games this is hard to swallow. The big decisions over penalties in both matches have gone against us."
Abou Diaby had fired Arsenal into the lead before a Sami Hyypia header and a stunning Fernando Torres strike put Liverpool ahead.
Emmanuel Adebayor looked to have put Arsenal through on away goals when he slotted home after a wonderful 70-yard run by Theo Walcott, only for the hosts to score those two late goals to make it 4-2 and set up a semi-final with Chelsea.
Arsenal legend Liam Brady, speaking on Irish television where he was analysing the game, hit back strongly at suggestions the pressure had got to Wenger.
Brady told RTE2 that Wenger was not getting his "just deserts" - and was angered at a montage showing the normally studious Frenchman becoming increasingly irate.
Clearly incensed, he said: "The man [Wenger] is on course with this team - he may have to tinker and he may have to get his chequebook out but he is on course.
"That [montage] suggested the man has lost the plot. if I had known that was in the can I would have not have come on the show.
Meanwhile, Wenger appeared shattered by the loss and added. "We lacked experience and made big mistakes.
"It will be hard now. We have to go to Manchester United next on Sunday, but we will try to finish strongly. But we still feel a great sense of injustice.