Mascherano blasts Gunners
Javier Mascherano has labelled Arsenal as 'hypocrites' for blaming the referee for their defeat to Barcelona.
By Francisco Acedo
Last Updated: 09/03/11 6:29pm
Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has labelled Arsenal as 'hypocrites' for blaming the referee for their defeat in the UEFA Champions League.
Arsenal crashed out of Europe after seeing Barcelona overturn a first-leg deficit with a 3-1 win at Camp Nou to progress 4-3 on aggregate.
The Gunners were furious with the performance of referee Massimo Busacca during Tuesday night's second leg encounter after he controversially sent off Robin van Persie in the second half for playing on after being adjudged to have been offside.
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger and Samir Nasri have been charged by Uefa with improper conduct for their comments regarding Busacca in the aftermath of the game.
Former Liverpool ace Mascherano insists Arsenal would be foolish to blame their defeat on the performance of the referee.
"Barca always wins thanks to the referee, never because of its play, not for having taken 19 shots on goal, not for having won 74 per cent of the possession or completing 900 passes," fumed Mascherano
"Let's not be hypocrites. We didn't let them breathe and that was the key. We played Barca's way and that's why we advanced."
"We did not allow Arsenal any chances at the Nou Camp and this was the key to the match.
"Barca plays as a team and that is the reason for our success. Not the individual actions, but the compact work of the eleven players."
Lionel Messi was again the star of the show with two goals to become Barcelona's all-time top scorer in Europe with 33 goals and Mascherano admits it is difficult to explain his fellow countryman's talent.
"It's hard to explain about Messi. What he is doing isn't normal but we're all starting to see it as something regular," added Mascherano.
"He's making history and let's hope he continues to do so for many years for us and for everyone."