Barcelona midfielder Javier Mascherano has waded into the controversy surround Arsenal's Champions League exit last night.
The former Liverpool midfielder, who made a crucial challenge on Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner in the later stages of the game, pointed to the stats rather than the sending off as the crucial points in the match.
"Barcelona always win because of the referee, they never win because of their play, or for having 19 shots on goal, or for having 74 per cent of possession or for having 900 touches of the ball," he told Sport.es.
"It would have been unjust if Arsenal had gone through without even shooting on goal, and Wenger knows it.
"We never let Arsenal breathe, and this was the key. Barcelona always keep their identity and they play like Barca. The result could have been 5-1."
Famed for his touch tackling approach, the midfielder was a huge hit at Liverpool under former boss Rafa Benitez.
The 26-year-old spent three years at Anfield before leaving Liverpool in a £22 million deal last summer, although opportunities have been limited due to competition for places in the Barca midfield.
That said, he made his mark on the second leg clash last night, keeping Arsenal skipper Cesc Fabregas quiet throughout before his exit midway through the second half.
An Argentine international, Mascherano's temperament was occasionally called into question on the pitch during his time at Liverpool, but the former River Plate star got it right in the Nou Camp last night and has decided to make a dig at Arsenal after the whistle.
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