Taking to his personal Twitter account, Arsenal legend Ian Wright has claimed that Per Mertesacker should be getting criticised as much as Mathieu Flamini for the role played in the Gunners’ loss to Barcelona.
It's all about opinions! Flamini seems to be getting a lot of criticism, but surely Per as got to put his boot through the ball! My opinion— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) February 24, 2016
Arsenal lost 2-0 at home to Barcelona on Tuesday evening, conceding the important second goal via the penalty spot.
A 1-0 loss would have been considered an okay result, and one that Arsenal could overturn at Camp Nou, but the second goal really took the tie away from the Gunners.
It was Flamini who was culpable for the goal, as he kicked Lionel Messi to the ground just moments after being substituted into the game.
Messi duly converted the penalty, and Arsene Wenger was criticised for calling upon Flamini in a game of such pressure when the Frenchman is clearly not of the required quality.
However, Flamini was forced into making such a rash challenge because of Mertesacker.
The midfielder was merely trying to clear the ball played to him by the German centre-back, and whilst he timed his kick poorly, Mertesacker has hardly taken any of the blame.
If he had put his foot through the ball, and cleared it, Flamini would not have been forced into the situation whereby he had to foul Messi.
Wright believes Mertesacker should be getting the same sort of criticism as Flamini, but so far the centre-back has avoided much of the harshness aimed at his midfield teammate.
Arsenal have almost no chance of overturning the two-goal deficit, and they are likely to fall out of the Champions League once again.