After Manchester City’s loss to FC Barcelona in today’s UEFA Champions League match, City boss Manuel Pellegrini unleashed a rant about the referee and placed the blame for the loss on his shoulders. Pellegrini claimed that referee cost them the match and that he was partial towards Barcelona for whatever reason. This was unusual from a manager who is usually calm and collected after a match but he felt a bit different today.
Pellegrini’s comments on the penalty decision:
“Of course I have a complaint, not only for the penalty and the red card. I think in the whole match we didn’t have a referee with impartiality to both teams. He decided the game. He decided the game because it was a foul by (Sergio) Busquets on Navas. The referee was three metres away and he didn’t blow the whistle and after that the foul from [Martin] Demichelis is outside the box, it’s not a penalty.”
The Swedish official Jonas Eriksson has had problems in the past particularly in a match between Barcelona and Serie A side AC Milan. Pellegrini believed that it was a poor decision by UEFA to left Eriksson referee another Barcelona match given his history.
Pellegrini’s comments on the selection:
“I think it is a mistake to nominate a referee that has had problems with Barcelona. Maybe he made mistakes in Milan. To have the same the referee here, I repeat, is a mistake.”
This will most definitely lead to a suspension for Pellegrini as his comments were directed at the UEFA appointed ref and he certainly pulled no punches when it came to the official’s abilities to make a sound decision. Jose Mourinho was suspended five games for similar comments but he had a lengthy history of controversial comments so Pellegrini’s will likely be shorter. At the very least he will miss the second leg at the Nou Camp in which his side have a nearly impossible task of overturning the two goal difference.
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