Pellegrini apologises for referee outburst

The Chilean admits he got caught up in the emotion of a defeat which leaves Manchester City needing a miracle at Camp Nou to progress in the Champions League
Manuel Pellegrini has apologised for questioning the impartiality of Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson in the aftermath of Manchester City's Champions League defeat by Barcelona.

Pellegrini was left fuming by the official's decision not to award a free-kick when Jesus Navas went down after contact with Sergio Busquets in the build-up to Barcelona's opening goal, as well as the awarding of a penalty to the Catalans despite Martin Demichelis' foul on Lionel Messi appearing to take place outside the box.

The Chilean faces a likely Uefa sanction for his comments and now admits he was caught up in the emotion of a defeat which leaves City needing a miracle at Camp Nou to progress.

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"We lost the game we lost against Barcelona, you are frustrated and angry," he told reporters. "Maybe I said something but I don't think that way. I want to apologise.

"I want to clarify there was no serious accusation to the referee or to Uefa.

"I said the referee decided the match because he didn't give us foul against Jesus Navas and then to the penalty we had a player sent off in that moment.

"The referee decided the game. A lot of time he didn't give the foul.

"It's a difficult profession, he had a bad day and I didn't say that he was a bad referee."

Speaking after the match on Tuesday evening, Pellegrini said of Eriksson: "He favoured Barcelona from the beginning to the end. I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge and a referee who made a mistake against Barcelona in the group stages. Football is more important in Europe than Sweden.

"This referee [officiated in] the Barcelona-Milan game in the group and he made an important error against Barcelona. Today he remedied it."