LONDON, June 21 – Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes that had Video Assistant Referees (VAR) been around earlier then Arsenal would have won the 2006 Champions League.
In an interview with Arsenal Player, the Frenchman outlined which three key decisions from the past he would like VAR to review, and Samuel Eto’o’s equaliser for Barcelona in the 2006 showpiece final came out top of that list.
Ten-men Arsenal were leading 1-0 in Paris through Sol Campbell’s first-half goal when the Cameroon striker ran onto Henrik Larsson’s layoff before slotting past substitute keeper Manuel Almunia with just 14 minutes left before Juliano Belletti netted the winner just four minutes later.
“I would choose Barcelona’s equaliser in the 2006 Champions League final because it was offside, and we were 1-0 up with 13 minutes to go,” Wenger said.
“That’s the trophy I miss here, you know, so that is for me the most important one.
“The second one I would choose is the second yellow card for Robin van Persie at Barcelona in 2011, because this was the moment we were qualified against a very strong team, and it was a very difficult decision to accept – it basically killed our chances,” he added.
“After that maybe I go to a more recent decision – against Bayern Munich when [Laurent] Koscielny was sent off for a penalty when Lewandowski was offside. That just comes to my mind now but maybe I forget many, many, many, many more.”
Wenger’s side were knocked out of the Champions League this season after losing 10-2 on aggregate to Bayern, but the controversial red card for Koscielny in the second leg when Arsenal were leading 1-0 remains one of the key decisions Wenger laments.
The Arsenal boss said that he believes the introduction of the new technology is positive for football.