Arsenal legend blasts Tuchel for ‘kiddies mistake’ claims as he explains why Bayern were denied a penalty

Joe Williams
Thomas Tuchel against Arsenal
Thomas Tuchel shouts at the assistant referee.

Arsenal legend Martin Keown accused Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel of “throwing the referee under a bus” with his post-match comments on Tuesday night.

The defending Bundesliga champions felt they were denied a clear penalty in the 66th minute of the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash against the Gunners, when Arsenal defender Gabriel inexplicably picked up a David Raya goal kick.

Martin Keown: He’s thrown the referee under a bus a little bit there

But Swedish match official Glenn Nyberg apparently avoided giving the spot-kick because of the bizarre nature of the incident, to the amazement of an “angry” Tuchel.

Speaking after the match, which ended 2-2, Tuchel hit out at the referee: “The referee made a huge mistake. I know it was a crazy situation. They put the ball down, he whistles and the defender takes the ball with his hands.

“What makes us really angry is the explanation on the pitch. He told our players it was a ‘kid’s mistake’ and he won’t give a penalty for that in a Champions League quarter-final.

“It’s a horrible, horrible explanation. Kid’s mistake, adult’s mistake, whatever – we feel angry because it was a huge decision against us.”

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Bukayo Saka gave Arsenal a 12th-minute lead at the Emirates Stadium before goals from ex-Gunner Serge Gnabry and Tottenham legend Harry Kane gave Bayern Munich the lead.

Leandro Trossard equalised with 14 minutes remaining while Arsenal were denied an added-time penalty when Saka took a tumble in the box following a challenge from Manuel Neuer.

On Tuchel’s post-match comments, Keown said: “He’s saying OK it’s a kiddies mistake maybe there was another one later in the game.

“He’s thrown the referee under a bus a little bit there. He’s gone to him and said he’s made a genuine mistake and I’m not sure the referee was expecting that to be made public.”

Keown added: “You can’t defend the indefensible and the referee is maybe out of his depth because we thought he had a decent game but there’s key moments where both teams can look at.”

Mikel Arteta: We started the game really well

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta decided not to comment on the controversial decisions and chose to concentrate on his side’s performance.

“We started the game really well, we were dominant, we played in the opponents’ half. We generated some momentum, scored the first goal and then it’s a critical moment of the match, Ben White is in front of Neuer to make it 2-0 and we have to put the ball in the back of the net and it becomes a different moment.

“And then in Champions League you cannot give anything to the opponent. We have given them two goals today and when you have this situation they are going to punish you.

“In a certain way we are alive and we’ve done what we had to do when the game became very difficult for us but as well as understanding that, we have to step up the level in certain aspects of the game.

“I sense the belief there, we are going to go to Munich and have the chance to win it and we’re going to be better in certain areas and that’s how we are going to prepare it.”

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