Belfast Telegraph

Blame me for Barcelona defeat, says sorry Arsenal captain Fabregas

By Steven Beacom

Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas today stated that he took “full blame” for his side’s controversial Champions League exit to Barcelona.

While Gunners boss Arsene Wenger and everyone else representing the north London outfit blamed referee Massimo Busacca for their defeat after the Swiss official sent off Robin van Persie, Fabregas was big enough to accept his failings as Arsenal’s European dream ended for the second year in succession at the Nou Camp.

The peerless Lionel Messi scored twice, one from the penalty spot, as Barcelona won the last 16 second leg clash 3-1, taking them through to the quarter-finals 4-3 on aggregate.

Xavi was also on target for the Catalan giants while Arsenal scored through a Sergio Busquets own goal.

With the score at 1-1, Arsenal had van Persie harshly sent off after picking up a second yellow card for kicking the ball away after being caught offside.

He described the referee as a joke while Wenger claimed Arsenal would have gone through had the Dutchman stayed on the pitch.

In contrast Fabregas, who had a desperate game and gifted Barca their opening goal, was full of remorse for his display.

The Spain World Cup winner, substituted with 12 minutes remaining, was left bitterly disappointed by his own contribution after coming back from a hamstring injury.

“I take full blame for the result,” Fabregas said of his Nou Camp debut. “One of the worst moments of my life. I apologise.”

Arsenal, who recently lost the Carling Cup final to Birmingham, must now try and lift themselves for Saturday’s FA Cup tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Belfast Telegraph

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