Arsene Wenger has weighed in on Jose Mourinho’s claims that there is a conspiracy to take Barcelona to the Champions League final.
In a press conference following Real Madrid’s 2-0 defeat to the Catalan team at the Bernabeu last night, Mourinho railed against UEFA and the opposing club, noting that referees appear to systematically pass harsh verdicts on teams opposing Barca.
Wenger himself has fallen victim to losing players while facing Barcelona; Robin van Persie was sent off when the teams met in the final 16 stage of the competition. However while he agrees that the Barca players “overreact, certainly”, there is no conspiracy.
“It’s difficult for me to comment on that because we were involved in a situation like that,” he said. “I refuse to believe that because the day I believe that, it is impossible to manage. This season, they certainly had some advantages [but] I feel that they were accidental.
“When a manager comes out of a big game like that, and you have a disappointment, you have to accept that you can sometimes go a bit too far, but I refuse to believe that there is, let’s say, a script behind the stage and that Barcelona is advantaged.”
He added that last night’s double goalscorer Lionel Messi is a large factor in the club’s success. “When a guy scored 52 goals in modern football and 25 assists, when you see how difficult it is to score a goal, you just have to say it is absolutely exceptional what this player is delivering,” he admitted.
The striker put away four goals against Arsenal in last year’s quarter final, removing them from the competition.