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Italian believes that sending off of Pepe was harsh but rejects suggestions that officials in the game lean toward the Catalan giants when making key decisions

Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed Jose Mourinho’s suggestion that referees are biased in favour Barcelona.

The Real Madrid coach saw his side reduced to 10 men just after the hour-mark against the Spanish champions at the Bernabeu in the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final tie on Wednesday evening.

Referee Wolfgang Stark showed Pepe a straight card for his challenge on Daniel Alves and Barcelona went on to win the match 2-0, courtesy of a brace from Lionel Messi.

It was the fourth time this season that Madrid ended with 10 players against Pep Guardiola’s team, leaving Mourinho to vent his fury and claim that there is a conspiracy as Barca get refereeing decisions in their favour.

However, Ancelotti has rejected these suggestions and is quoted as saying by Sky Sports: “I don't think that there is a conspiracy. Football is football. There is no conspiracy.

“The referee can make mistakes and I want to think that everything is okay, everything is clear, because this is my work. Obviously, there are mistakes in football, referees, players, coaches, but there is no conspiracy.

"I know Stark very well," the Italian continued. "Stark is not a referee who can be intimidated. He has a strong personality. He's a very good referee. Maybe he made  a mistake yesterday."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger too has rejected suggestions that referees are biased toward Barcelona, despite the controversial sending off of striker Robin van Persie earlier in the tournament against the Catalans.

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