Manuel Pellegrini was left upset with the level of officiating during Malaga’s Champions League defeat to Borussia Dortmund.
The Anchovies were on the verge of making the last four of the competition, leading 2-1 going into stoppages, only for a dramatic double-strike from the Germans to see the game end 3-2.
The winning goal, as replays showed, was scored in a move that missed two offside decisions against Dortmund players.
“Various factors can be decisive in football, and in this occasion we were unable, or they didn’t want us, to qualify,” lamented Pellegrini post-match.
“Firstly, following our 1-2 lead, there appeared to be no referee. We were subjected to our players being elbowed and pushed all over the place.
“Two of their players should have been given a red card, plus the third goal was clearly offside. It was extremely difficult to regain possession under these conditions.
“We’re all extremely bitter at the outcome.
“There was no referee in the last seven minutes. He let the players do whatever they wanted, which made it impossible for us to maintain our lead.
“I don’t know if it was cruel decision-making, or a lack of personality, but it’s very disappointing for us as we played such a great game tonight, against one of the best teams in Europe, and it’s a shame it ended like this.
“However, the rival should be congratulated for qualifying to the semi-finals.
“I don’t think it was about a particular style of play, as for seven minutes there was absolutely no action from the ref at all.
“He should have given two red cards, the goal was offside, and there were six or seven fouls in every pass that went near the penalty area.
“All referees make mistakes, but not continually as in tonight’s match.”