Barcelona 3 Arsenal 1: Van Persie off as Gunners crash out

Arsenal's Robin Van Persie (second from left) claims he didn't hear the whistle as he is sent off.
Arsenal's Robin Van Persie (second from left) claims he didn't hear the whistle as he is sent off.
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ARSENAL had Robin van Persie controversially sent off as they were dumped out of the Uefa Champions League by rampant Barcelona.

The Gunners had substitute goalkeeper Manuel Almunia to thank for keeping their in a one-sided encounter, with Barca claiming 69 per cent of the possession and having 19 efforts at goal compared to none from the Gunners.

Van Persie, a surprise inclusion for the visitors, who led 2-1 from the first leg, having recovered quicker than expected from a knee injury.

However, moments after an own goal from Sergio Busquets cancelled out Lionel Messi's fine opener following a terrible mistake by Cesc Fabregas, van Persie was given his marching orders by Swiss referee Massimo Busacca.

Van Persie had already been booked in the first half and was shown a second yellow card for lashing the ball towards goal after a marginal offside call which the Arsenal striker claimed he could not hear.

Barcelona took full advantage, with Xavi and then Messi's penalty putting the tie beyond Arsene Wenger's men, who were left to reflect on what might have been as Nicklas Bendtner - on for Fabregas - squanorious late chance.