Referee favoured Barcelona, claims Man City boss Pellegrini

After seeing his side lose 2-0 to Barcelona in their Champions League second round first leg match, Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has claimed that referee Jonas Eriksson favoured the Spanish club, BBC Sport is reporting.

The Swedish official penalised Man City for fouls on nine more occasions than he did Barcelona, and, in the game’s crucial moment, awarded a penalty to the visitors for a challenge by Martin Demichelis on Lionel Messi, that took place outside the box.

As last man, Demichelis was sent off, but Man City felt that they should have had a free-kick in the build-up to the incident, when Jesus Navas went down just inside his own half. The penalty was scored by Messi, and Daniel Alves rolled home the second late on.

And Eriksson’s performance has led Pellegrini to claim that he was not impartial. “The referee decided the game. He was on Barcelona’s side from the beginning until the end,” said the Chilean. “Before the penalty, which was outside the area, there was a foul on Jesus Navas. He didn’t control any of the game.

“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.”

Pellegrini spoke to Eriksson after the game, and added: “I just told him he decided the game and he must be very happy because he decided the game.”

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