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Van Persie brands dismissal ‘total joke’

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BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Robin van Persie (L) of Arsenal reacts to referee Massimo Busacca after receiving a red card during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Robin van Persie (L) of Arsenal reacts to referee Massimo Busacca after receiving a red card during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Robin van Persie (L) of Arsenal reacts to referee Massimo Busacca after showing his a red card during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Robin van Persie (L) of Arsenal reacts to referee Massimo Busacca after showing his a red card during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal leave the field at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal leave the field at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal leaves the field at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal leaves the field at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona is challenged by Samir Nasri of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona is challenged by Samir Nasri of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi (R) of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides opening goal with his teammate Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi (R) of Barcelona celebrates scoring his sides opening goal with his teammate Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona shoots past Bacary Sagna of Arsenal to score during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona shoots past Bacary Sagna of Arsenal to score during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  David Villa of FC Barcelona (L) fights for the ball against Bacary Sagna of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: David Villa of FC Barcelona (L) fights for the ball against Bacary Sagna of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi (L) of Barcelona duels for the ball with Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi (L) of Barcelona duels for the ball with Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (L) of Arsenal fails to stop Lionel Messi of Barcelona from scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Goalkeeper Manuel Almunia (L) of Arsenal fails to stop Lionel Messi of Barcelona from scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas talks with Eric Abidal of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas talks with Eric Abidal of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi of Barcelona reacts after scoring his sides opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi of Barcelona reacts after scoring his sides opening goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (R) scores his first team's side goal under a chanllenge by Johan Djourou of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (R) scores his first team's side goal under a chanllenge by Johan Djourou of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Josep Guardiola the Barcelona coach celebrates as Arsene Wenger the Arsenal coach looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Josep Guardiola the Barcelona coach celebrates as Arsene Wenger the Arsenal coach looks on during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Wojciech Szczesny the Arsenal goalkeeper leaves the field during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Wojciech Szczesny the Arsenal goalkeeper leaves the field during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas steps in between Sergio Busquets of Barcelona and team-mate Robin van Persie during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas steps in between Sergio Busquets of Barcelona and team-mate Robin van Persie during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Josep Guardiola the Barcelona coach during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Josep Guardiola the Barcelona coach during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal sits on his knees on the pitch as he reacts to his players during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal sits on his knees on the pitch as he reacts to his players during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal receives a red card from referee Massimo Busacca during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Robin van Persie of Arsenal receives a red card from referee Massimo Busacca during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal reacts backdropped by head coach Josep Guardiola of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal reacts backdropped by head coach Josep Guardiola of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Head coach Josep Guardiola (R) of Barcelona reacts besides head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Head coach Josep Guardiola (R) of Barcelona reacts besides head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Head coach Arsene Wenger of Arsenal reacts during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Jasper Juinen

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona celebrates with team-mates David Villa and Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona celebrates with team-mates David Villa and Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona shoots past Bacary Sagna of Arsenal to score during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona shoots past Bacary Sagna of Arsenal to score during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (C) scores his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 3-1. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (C) scores his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona won 3-1. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal leave the field at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Jack Wilshere and Cesc Fabregas of Arsenal leave the field at the end of the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Robin van Persie of Arsenal receives a red card from referee Massimo Busacca during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Robin van Persie of Arsenal receives a red card from referee Massimo Busacca during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona celebrates with team-mates David Villa and Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Xavi Hernandez of Barcelona celebrates with team-mates David Villa and Andres Iniesta during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Nou Camp Stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (R) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

David Ramos

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Robin van Persie (L) of Arsenal reacts to referee Massimo Busacca after receiving a red card during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images)

Robin van Persie labelled his dismissal “a total joke” as Arsenal crashed out of the Champions League to Barcelona in acrimonious circumstances.

With the teams level on the night at 1-1 and the Gunners holding a 3-2 aggregate lead, the Holland forward was shown a harsh second yellow card for lashing a shot at goal having already been given offside.

Barca went on to win 3-1 and complete a 4-3 aggregate success, and Van Persie said: “I think (the red card) had a big influence. I think it's a total joke — how can I hear this whistle with 95,000 people jumping up (and shouting)?”

Just a second elapsed between referee Massimo Busacca blowing his whistle and Van Persie striking the ball, and the latter continued: “That makes it even worse. I cannot understand that view from the ref.

“If there were four, five, six seconds in between, you can make a check (for offside). One second, it's a joke.

“I tried to explain there were 95,000 people jumping up, how can I hear the whistle?

“He's been bad all evening, whistling against us. I don't know why he's here tonight. 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.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “We lost against a good team. In the first half we resisted pressure. I think the second would have been very interesting if we had stayed 11 against 11 — unfortunately it was not the case.

“There are regrets when you see how we went out — the way we did, it is very difficult to accept.”

On Van Persie's second booking, he said: “With the people shouting, if he takes his chance I see no reason to give a second yellow card. To do that, (the referee) must have never played football.

“I told him what I think about his decision face to face and there is not a lot more to say.”by sam wallace

Belfast Telegraph


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