x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Double trouble for Arsenal after defeat to Barcelona

Uefa charged Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, and his midfielder Samir Nasri with improper conduct yesterday for comments to Massimo Busacca, the referee, after their team's Champions League elimination against Barcelona.

Uefa charged Arsene Wenger, the Arsenal manager, and his midfielder Samir Nasri with improper conduct yesterday for comments to Massimo Busacca, the referee, after their team's Champions League elimination against Barcelona.

Wenger argued furiously with the Swiss official on the sidelines after Arsenal's 3-1 loss on Tuesday, and the dispute continued in the tunnel. Arsenal lost 4-3 on aggregate.

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Wenger was angry that Robin van Persie was shown a second yellow card at 1-1 in the 56th minute. Busacca ruled that the forward deliberately kicked the ball away when shooting at goal immediately after being ruled offside. Uefa studied reports from Busacca and the match delegate Dane Jost of Slovenia before asking its disciplinary unit to open cases.

Uefa's disciplinary panel will hear the cases on March 17, with both Wenger and Nasri facing bans of at least two European matches.

Van Persie called his second yellow card a "total joke." The Dutch striker claimed he had not heard Busacca's whistle amid the noise of a 95,000-plus crowd.

"He's been bad all evening, whistling against us. I don't know why he's here tonight," Van Persie said. "We feel betrayed a bit. When it was 1-1 it was all to play for and in my opinion this referee killed the game." Wenger said Busacca's decision to send off Van Persie was "embarrassing".