Pellegrini Sorry for Criticising Referee

Manuel Pellegrini has apologised for criticising the referee after Manchester City’s Champions League defeat by Barcelona.

The Chilean manager claimed Swedish official Jonas Eriksson favoured the Spanish side during their 2-0 victory at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, comments which are being investigated by Uefa.

“We lost the game,” said Pellegrini. “You are frustrated and angry.

“Maybe I said something but I don’t think that way. I want to apologise.”

Manuel Pellegrini Says Sorry for Referee Criticism.
Manuel Pellegrini Says Sorry for Referee Criticism.

Pellegrini’s side were reduced to 10 men when Martin Demichelis was dismissed for denying Lionel Messi a clear goalscoring opportunity. The Argentine scored from the resulting penalty.

The initial contact appeared to take place outside the penalty area and followed what Pellegrini believed to have been a foul by Sergio Busquets on City winger Jesus Navas.

“I didn’t say he was a bad referee, that he was not honest, that he cannot referee in Uefa,” said Pellegrini, 60. “That was the first thing I want to clarify.

“I felt from the beginning his criteria was not the same for both teams, I think he had a bad day – everyone can have a bad day – but I didn’t say that intentionally he didn’t give fouls for us or did give fouls for Barcelona.”

Full Report on BBC Sport Page.