After Arsenal‘s final stab at a UEFA Champions League comeback against AC Milan a couple weeks ago, Gunners coach Arsene Wegner confronted the head official in the tunnel. Wegner expressed displeasure over the ref’s treating of Milan in the Gunners win 3-0 (losing on aggregate 4-3) that awarded Milan free kicks at every fall in the midfield. Wegner believes they identified this trend early and exploited it the whole match.
Wegner was sentenced a similar ban last year after losing to Barcelona. He faced a one-game ban that was subsequently extended for trying to communicate to his bench during the following match against Udinese, adding two games to his suspension. Not only does he plan to appeal his suspension, but Wegner is also concerned about the elevated level which UEFA has put their referees.
Having been in the European coaching world for the last 25 years, Wegner believes he should enjoy the privilege of discussion with an official following a match, but even that is forbidden.
With their exit from the Champions League, AC Milan advanced to Champions League quarterfinals against Barcelona, with the first leg taking place at San Siro this past Wednesday. The Rossoneri were able to hold the Spanish powerhouse to a 0-0 tie, which might prove in their favor. If AC Milan can hold the quick attacks of the Catalonians and score maybe just one away goal at Camp Nou, they may come out on top.
Fans of both teams cannot forget Barcelona’s unheard-of 7-goal performance in the second leg (at home) versus Bayer Leverkusen, but it’s important to remember that at-home performance was coming off a 3-1 away win a couple weeks before. Without the same momentum returning to Camp Nou, Barcelona may have their work cut out for them.
In the other UCL first legs, every other away team came away victorious which is monumental when the second leg is considered. Chelsea pulled out a 1-0 defeat over Benfica, Real Madrid won 3-0 over Apoel, and Bayern Munich won 2-0 on top Marseille. The next leg kicks off Tuesday, April 3rd, at 11:45 PST, as Barca returns to Camp Nou and Chelsea resume’s at Stamford Bridge.