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.”
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.”
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