Sergio Busquets has hit back at Manchester City following their criticism of referee Jonas Eriksson's performance in Barcelona's 2-0 Champions League win at the Etihad on Wednesday by stating "excuses are for losers".
City manager Manuel Pellegrini accused the Swedish official of favouring Barcelona after the Catalan club secured a 2-0 win in the first leg of the sides' UEFA Champions League round-of-16 tie on Tuesday.
Eriksson sent Martin Demichelis off early in the second half and awarded a penalty for a challenge on Lionel Messi when the initial contact appeared to have been made outside the area.
"The excuses when you lose are for losers," he told reporters. "Is better [to] forget and focus on the next match."
Pellegrini claimed that Swedish official Eriksson did not have control of the game and sided with Spanish champions to redeem himself after failing to award them a penalty in a game against Milan at the same stage last year.
Uefa are investigating the Chilean's post-match comments and Busquets accused City of sour grapes following their reaction to the defeat which leaves the Premier League club's Champions League hopes hanging by a thread.
"I think that we have been winning everything without any difficulties until not long ago," he continued. "I think that the referees make mistakes frequently. Sometimes those mistakes are good for you and other times are bad.
"They give more importance to an error on our behalf, in any game or any result. That happened a few days ago against Manchester City.
"You have to leave the referees do their job. Sometimes their mistakes will be on your behalf and some others not."
The two sides lock horns in the second leg at Camp Nou on March 12.