Manuel Pellegrini blasts referee after Manchester City loss

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini could find himself in trouble with UEFA after questioning the appointment of referee Jonas Eriksson for Tuesday’s Champions League last 16 first leg clash with Barcelona.

The Catalan giants will take a 2-0 cushion back to the Nou Camp after Lionel Messi and Dani Alves struck, but Pellegrini believes the referee was ‘not impartial’ and believes UEFA made a mistake in appointing the Swedish official.

In his post-match interview, Pellegrini questioned the decision to award Messi a penalty, which led to Martin Demichelis’ dismissal, while he accused the official of not having ‘any control of the game’.
“From the beginning I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams so he decided the game with a foul that he didn’t whistle against and a penalty with Demichelis that was not a penalty, it was outside the box,” Pellegrini said.

“He did not have any control of the game. He was on the side of Barcelona from the beginning until the end.

“I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge of such an important match, especially a referee who has made an important mistake against Barcelona in a previous match.”

He went on: “I think that the referee decided the game because before the penalty there was a foul on Navas three metres away from him so he could see it without any problem.

“The more important mistake is the foul against Navas and secondly the penalty.

“Contact was outside the box – that is the foul, you cannot continue the foul. The first foul is outside the box.

“Before the penalty Barcelona did not have chances and we were preparing the way to score.

“Playing 40 minutes with one player less is very difficult against Barcelona. We played well and tried to draw and in the last minute they scored the second goal.”