19 Feb 2014

Angry Pellegrini questions impartiality of referee

6:52 pm on 19 February 2014

The Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini could be in trouble with European football authorities for questioning the impartiality of the referee in their 2-0 Champions League defeat at home to Barcelona.

Pellegrini accused the Swedish official Jonas Eriksson of deciding the outcome of the last-16 first-leg clash, which turned on a penalty Eriksson awarded to the visitors in the 53rd minute, for a foul that appeared to take place outside the area.

The offender, Martin Demichelis, was sent off for the offence on fellow Argentine Lionel Messi, who converted from the spot before Dani Alves added a second goal in stoppage time.

Pellegrini was highly critical of Eriksson, who he says he spoke to after the match, telling the referee he should be very happy because he decided the outcome.

And the Chilean's claims that Eriksson wasn't impartial risks a severe sanction from UEFA.

Pellegrini was also angry that Eriksson had been chosen for Tuesday's match after he had previously dismissed two Barcelona penalty claims in the 2012 Champions League quarter-final against AC Milan at the San Siro.

Eriksson has held a FIFA badge for 12 years and has now refereed 22 Champions League and 87 UEFA matches in total.