The former Arsenal manager, who worked with the Chilean winger at Emirates Stadium, felt he was unlucky to receive a red card at Anfield
Arsene Wenger accused Fabinho of “cheating” to get Alexis Sanchez sent off after Liverpool knocked Inter out of the Champions League.
The Reds progressed to the quarter-finals despite losing the second leg of their round-of-16 tie 1-0 at Anfield on Tuesday night, having earned a 2-0 victory in the first leg at San Siro.
Lautaro Martinezs 61st-minute goal gave Inter the win on Merseyside, but Sanchez was shown a second yellow card for a foul on Fabinho moments later and they were ultimately unable to get back into the tie with 10 men.
There were few complaints when Sanchez received his first booking after a late challenge on Thiago in the first half, but there was more controversy surrounding his clash with Fabinho.
The Chilean winger managed to beat the Liverpool midfielder to a loose ball and poke it forward, but caught him on the shin as he followed through, which the referee deemed worthy of another yellow.
Fabinhos wife Rebecca Tavares instantly took to social media to comment on the incident, writing on Twitter: “Bye Alexis”, accompanied by an angry emoji.
Bye Alexis ????
Fabinho stayed down after the tackle and rolled around while clutching his leg before eventually getting up and carrying on without any lasting damage.
Former Arsenal boss Wenger, who worked with Sanchez at Emirates Stadium between 2014 and 2018, felt that Fabinho used underhand tactics to influence the referee.
“He was cheating, he made more of it!”More from Arsene Wenger on Fabinhos reaction to the challenge from Alexis Sanchez, adding that the Inter attacker did not want to hurt the Liverpool midfielder. #beINUCL #UCL Live Blog ???? https://t.co/VnixJhEqVw pic.twitter.com/EZHuvl3nfW
“Borderline between cheating and being clever,” Wenger said on beIN SPORTS after the game.
“Fabinho, on this foul, was on the other side… he was cheating, he made more of it.
“Maybe he had pain but… he was touched by Sanchez, it wasn’t completely fake. Maybe he could have got up quicker.
“It was one of those fouls, if it was your player you say ‘it’s clever,’ when you’re completely neutral you say ‘he could have made less out of it.’
“He touched him but he didn’t want to hurt him, he touched the ball first.”