Mardy Bum: Manuel Pellegrini Claims Referee ‘Was On Barcelona’s Side From The Beginning To The End’

Chris Wright

19th, February 2014


By Chris Wright

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 - Manchester City v Barcelona - Etihad Stadium

While to the rest of the world it looked like Manchester City were merely suffocated and swamped over the course of 90 minutes by a superior side (who went on to win at a canter), City boss Manuel Pellegrini has had the brass balls to come out and claim that his side lost last night’s Champions League last-16 tie due to flagrant referee favouritism.

Pellegrini has openly stated that Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson was, and we quote, “not impartial to both teams” and “didn’t have enough experience”, before adding:

“The referee decided the game. He was on Barcelona’s side from the beginning until the end.

“Before the penalty, which was outside the area, there was a foul on Jesus Navas. He didn’t control any of the game.

“I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge of such an important match, and a referee who made an important mistake against Barcelona (failing to award AC Milan a penalty in the 2012 quarter-final) in a previous match. Today he arranged it.

“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.

“I just told [referee Eriksson at the final whistle that] he decided the game and he must be very happy because he decided the game.

“I think there is more important football in Europe than Sweden. This is a big game with two important teams and maybe in this type of game you need a referee with more experience.”

Wow. All seems extremely out of character for the normally reserved and non-confrontational Chilean.

To be quite honest, we can’t remember any particular decisions that were overly debatable or iffy. Barca were diving at the slightest contact and Victor Valdes got himself out of a few self-afflicted six-yard box scrapes by falling to the ground and yelling profusely, but City players were certainly indulging in ‘contact anticipation’ too – such is the Champions League these days.

Was the referee favouring Barca when he wrongly judged Cesc Fabregas to be offside here?

Yes, with the help of super slo-mo HD replays Andy Townsend was able to ascertain that Martin Demichelis made initial contact with Lionel Messi fractionally outside the area, but to the naked eye it certainly looked like a penalty.

What say you Pies fans? Are Pellegrini’s gripes credible and/or justifiable?

Posted in Barcelona, Champions League, FAIL, Man City, Managers, Newsnow

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  1. Jack Wheeler says:

    There were multiple fouls given to Barca where the City players had either hardly touched them, 2 spring to mind of Negredos yellow card where he pulled out of the tackle and Kompany shoulder to shoulder on Messi and won the ball who fell over and got a cheap free kick. I’m a Tottenham fan and also thought the Ref was on a power trip in Barcas favour.

  2. Emeka Ikenze says:

    I remember seeing a Clichy handball and a disallowed Pique goal. Come on guys!!! lets be real.

    Dont know what came over Pellegrini last night, i pray he gets over it. Play the match again today and 89% says Barca will still win.


  3. Wynton says:

    Ridiculous remarks. Pellegrini should stop being a whiny bitch. City was simply outplayed by a clever Barca side and couldn’t find the means to really harm them. To act like it’s someone else’s fault is a rather weak behavior by a manager I always considered to be sort of a gentleman.

  4. Nuno says:

    I think he may be getting affected by Mourinho’s mind games and trying to play the same game as him, but it doesn’t suit him, it doesn’t seem natural to see this guy lower himself to Mourinho’s comments standards…

  5. Ayodeji afon says:

    What about clichy hand ball inside 18 yards box, what of pique goal etc pelegrini don’t know what to say or let me say he don’t want to accept defeat.

  6. Cosa says:

    The Clichy handball was 5 yards away and the ball smashed at him.

    The offside decision you’ve shown is marginal and could easily be given, but what you’ve actually highlighted is that the ref got two decisions wrong. It didn’t take any HD replays for Townsend to question whether or not the contact was inside the box, only to confirm. The referee apparently not in doubt, but couldn’t have been anything but in doubt.

    Barca were getting soft fouls all night long, indisputably, and there was absolutely nothing between the teams before the sending off. So I’m unsure where these ‘out-thought’ and ‘superior team’ comments originate. 40:60% possession and 9:10 chances respectively, of which City had a good number in the second half after the sending-off.

    This is a bizarre article with a collection of laughable Barcelona apologists.

    It’s difficult for a toon fan to defend City but it looked very Barcelona last night.

  7. usrick says:

    I think Pellegrini may be upset that the most decisive moment of the match was an error by Demichelis (who, until then, had played well), the man he managed at Malaga and took pains to acquire for City.

  8. Fnarf says:

    I think Pellegrini’s set for about a €20,000 fine, yeah?

  9. Ali says:

    UEFA understands that Barcelona is beginning to falter and they need to do their best to keep them in power in Europe. Just like in 2011, Barcelona will be helped by the referees en route to a Champions League final.

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