London doesn’t take kindly to defeat. And Londoners certainly don’t take kindly to referees who repeatedly sin against their clubs. Arsenal’s brave but ultimately fruitless 2-1 failure against Barcelona in Paris in the Champions League final on Wednesday night will be picked apart for weeks to come.
And Norwegian referee Terje Hauge is likely to suffer heavily from the fallout.
When Hauge dismissed Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann after just 18 minutes, it was clearly a sending off as Lehmann grabbed Samuel Eto’o's ankle.
With Ludovik Giuly sticking the goal away anyway, he might have ignored the foul and given the goal. Under the advantage law he could have dismissed Lehmann and allowed the goal, but he chose to send off the mad German goalkeeper and award a free-kick outside the box.
In truth, despite taking the lead through a Sol Campbell header, Arsenal are a long way short of being the best side in Europe.
Let’s not blame the referee again. Let’s just accept the better team won. Well done, Barça. Better luck next time, Arsenal.