Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben says he was made to feel like a “cornered dog” by Arsenal supporters during Wednesday night’s Champions League clash at the Emirates Stadium.
The Netherlands international was booed loudly after he earned a first-half penalty which led to the dismissal of Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.
The home crowd inside the Emirates Stadium believed Robben, a former Chelsea player, exaggerated the contact in order to convince referee Nicola Rizzoli to point to the penalty spot, while Arsene Wenger also criticised him for his alleged theatrics after the match.
However, Robben remains unapologetic, and is in no doubt that Rizzoli made the correct call.
“There's no discussion about the penalty,” the 30-year-old was quoted as saying by the Telegraph. “In football it goes like that, suddenly I was the fans' target and the cornered dog.
“But I couldn't help it. It was a brilliant attack with Toni Kroos. He chipped the ball over the defence and I was faster than the goalkeeper. I wanted to control the ball, but the only thing I still remember is a ‘bang’ against my leg and me lying on the ground. Of course it was a foul.”
Bayern Munich went on to win the match 2-0 - and are subsequently firm favourites to qualify for the Champions League quarter-finals ahead of next month’s return leg at the Allianz Arena.