Football: Wenger slams Robben as Arsenal exit Europe

Football: Wenger slams Robben as Arsenal exit Europe
Bayern Munich midfielder Arjen Robben (right) vies for the ball against Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny during the Champions League match in London on Feb 19. Referee Nicola Rizzoli sent off Szczesny for conceding a spot-kick with a foul on Robben.

MUNICH, Germany - Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger blamed Wojciech Szczesny's first-leg red card for the Gunners' Champions League last-16 exit and slammed Arjen Robben for provoking the red card as the Gunners bowed out at Bayern Munich.

Holders Bayern Munich booked their place in the Champions League's quarter-finals, despite Arsenal earning a 1-1 draw in Bavaria in Tuesday's last-16, second-leg clash.

A second-half Bastian Schweinsteiger goal gave Bayern a brief lead before Arsenal's Lukas Podolski equalised with a thunderbolt of a shot as the tie finished 3-1 on aggregate.

Arsenal failed to overturn their 2-0 deficit from the first leg three weeks ago, which still riles Wenger.

The Gunners finished with ten men in London after Italian referee Nicola Rizzoli sent off Gunners goalkeeper Szczesny for conceding a spot-kick with a foul on Robben.

"Overall in the two games, what made the difference was the decision to send our goalkeeper off," said Wenger.

"Robben is very good at getting something out of nothing, he's a good diver, but that's part of his game.

"I have to congratulate the (Arsenal) players for their heart and effort.

"We wanted to come out of that tie qualified, but we came up short.

"Good luck to Bayern, but I think they are a bit more vulnerable than last season."

Robben angrily rebuked Wenger's diving claims.

"I expect more of great managers, they don't need to resort to claims like that," said the Dutch winger. "I don't want to have to defend myself against remarks like that."

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