By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger has vehemently defended his behaviour in the aftermath of Arsenal’s defeat at Barcelona on Tuesday night.

The day after the game, UEFA announced they would be charging both the Arsenal manager and midfielder Samir Nasri with improper conduct for comments they were alleged to have made in the tunnel to the referee.

On the night, Wenger was certainly angered by the official’s decision to dismiss Robin van Persie in the second half but, at Thursday’s press conference, the Frenchman admitted he was baffled by the action against him.

“I don’t understand where that comes from,” he said. “It is the kind of thing that is difficult to understand.

“It is a shame the referee took the decision to send off Robin van Persie because it was the wrong decision. The first game was a fantastic advert for football and the second game has been destroyed. The only thing that people remember is that the sending off killed the game.

“This decision frustrated us and frustrated everybody who loves football.”

However Wenger would not be drawn on what actually happened in the tunnel.

“I will keep that for UEFA if they really want to know because I will have some interesting statements to make about some statements made by people who were not supposed to say what they said.

“You can check any statement I made on television after the game. If I have done anything wrong I am ready to be charged.

"As for what is said in the tunnel, if you can get just one [time] where I have come out on what has been said against me or against the referee [in a tunnel] during my 15 years in England, I will pay for you to have a big holiday.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
10 Mar 2011