Pellegrini: Referee decided the game

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini believes Barcelona were handed victory on Tuesday by the referee, Jonas Eriksson.

Lionel Messi scored from the penalty spot and Dani Alves added a second to give the Catalans a commanding lead prior to the Camp Nou return in March.

Former Malaga boss Pellegrini though argued in a post-match interview that the penalty converted by Messi should never have been awarded, claiming there was a foul by Sergio Busquets on Jesus Navas in the build-up.

“Of course I have a complaint, not only for the penalty and the red card,” Pellegrini said.

“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 Busquets on Navas.

“The referee was three metres away and he didn't blow the whistle and after that the foul from Demichelis is outside the box, it's not a penalty.

“Important mistakes against a great team like Barcelona make it difficult to win.”

Pellegrini added that Eriksson should never have been put in charge of the tie as he has a chequered history with Barcelona dating back to their games against Milan a year ago.

“I think it is a mistake to nominate a referee that has had problems with Barcelona,” the Chilean continued.

“Maybe he made mistakes in Milan. To have the same the referee here, I repeat, is a mistake.”

Tags Manchester City Manuel Pellegrini