City boss risks UEFA ban over ref blast
Manuel Pellegrini urges his side on against Barcelona. Pic: Reuters

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini risks UEFA disciplinary action after an outburst against the referee who oversaw their Champions League loss to Barcelona, questioning his partiality and competence.

A rare measured voice in the turbulent world of English football since arriving last year, Pellegrini finally lost his cool after the 2-0 first-leg loss in the round of 16 on Tuesday.

City had been repelling Barcelona until the start of the second half when Jonas Eriksson sent off Martin Demichelis for fouling Lionel Messi, who then scored from the penalty spot.

Pellegrini was angry that Sergio Busquets was not penalised for an apparent foul on City winger Jesus Navas in the build-up.

"He decided the game because before the penalty, it was (a) foul on Navas ... but from the beginning I could see the referee was not impartial to both teams," Pellegrini said.

"So he decided the game with the foul he didn't whistle against and after the penalty of Martin Demichelis - it was not a penalty, it was outside the box."

Barcelona has history with Eriksson, who was criticised by then-coach Pep Guardiola for not awarding his team penalties in 2012 in a 0-0 draw at Milan in the quarter-finals.

Pellegrini felt Eriksson was trying to make amends for "an important mistake against Barcelona in a previous match".

And after the Etihad Stadium game, which saw Dani Alves add a late second goal, Pellegrini confronted Eriksson to tell him what he thought of his ability as a referee.

The Chilean believes that Eriksson lacked the credentials to referee a match of this magnitude despite taking charge of games at the 2012 European Championship, the 2013 UEFA Super Cup and being on the FIFA list for the World Cup in Brazil.

For suggesting the referee set out to favour Barcelona, Pellegrini is likely to be contacted by UEFA's disciplinary department, and faces a fine or touchline-ban.

The West Australian

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