Arsene Wenger hits out at Fabinho after Alexis Sanchez red card

Arsene Wenger has hit out at Fabinho after Alexis Sanchez saw red during Inter Milan‘s Champions League clash with Liverpool.

The former Arsenal boss was quick to defend his ex-player while criticising the Reds midfielder.

After progressing to the last eight of the Champions League for the fourth time in five years, Liverpool are dreaming of a seventh European Cup. Winners in 2018/19, Jurgen Klopp‘s side are targetting yet another triumph.

While the scoreline suggested a tight affair, Liverpool remained in control of their last-16 tie with Inter for most of the game.

Carrying over a two-goal deficit from the first leg, the Italian champions travelled to Merseyside with it all to do. Although it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback, a second-half Lautaro Martinez secured a 1-0 win on the night for Inter.

One year and one day since their last defeat at Anfield, the loss eventually proved inconsequential for Liverpool. However, things may have been very different for the six-time European champions had Inter kept 11 players on the pitch.

Sanchez’s red card, which occurred with 30 minutes still to play, meant the visitors had to finish the match with 10 men.

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The sending off came at the worst possible time for Inter and crushed hopes of a remarkable comeback. Martinez had struck just two minutes before, and Inter were starting to find their groove.

Flattened by the red card, Simone Inzaghi’s men failed to trouble Alisson in the Liverpool goal before limping out of the competition.

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Arsene Wenger calls out Fabinho after Alexis Sanchez sent off

Former Gunners boss Arsene Wenger doesn’t think Sanchez should have been shown a second yellow card for his challenge on Fabinho. Speaking to beIN Sports after the game, the 72-year-old accused Fabinho of “cheating”.

“He rode the line between cheating and being clever,” explained Wenger.

“Fabinho on this foul he was on the other side, he was cheating, he made more of it.”

The foul in question remains up for debate. Sanchez does win the ball at first, but his follow-through connects high on Fabinho’s ankle.

While he may consider himself unlucky, the Chilean’s first yellow ought to have been red instead. Arriving high and late on Thiago’s knee, it was no surprise Sanchez’s night ended early.

Despite the earlier reprieve, Wenger insisted Fabinho made the most of the second incident.

He said: “Maybe he had pain, and he was touched by Sanchez. You cannot say it was completely fake. But maybe he could have got up quicker.

“But he (Sanchez) didn’t want to hurt him, he played first the ball first.”

Regardless, Inter’s European journey came to an end. Simone Inzaghi’s side are now their attention on back-to-back Scudettos. For Liverpool, a historic quadruple remains a real possibility.

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