Pellegrini keen to avoid Clasico giants in Champions League

The Malaga boss is hoping his side does not get paired with either one of the two fellow Spanish clubs in the last eight, while he insists his side won its tie with Porto fairly.
Manuel Pellegrini has said that Malaga is keen to avoid either one of Real Madrid or Barcelona in Friday's draw for the Champions League quarterfinals.

The Andalusians overcame Porto on aggregate in the round of 16 following Wednesday's 2-0 victory at La Rosaleda, and their coach is now remaining hopeful they can continue to march on in the tournament without facing a rival from home.

"Ideally, we want to avoid the two Spanish teams, not only for the power of Real and Barca but also because of its conflict for Spanish football," Pellegrini told reporters. "We'll have to accept whoever we get and we will carry on trying to reach the semifinals."

Porto boss Vitor Pereira claimed after the match his side was given a raw deal by referee Nicola Rizzoli, but the Pellegrini felt Malaga deserved more credit for their performance.

"When you play with one less player, it is always difficult. We already played better in the last 15 minutes of the first half and the majority of the second half until the Porto player [Steven Defour] was sent off," Pellegrini said. "It was definitely a red card. There was a big hit to Joaquin. [Javier] Saviola's goal was legal aswell, but I don't think that was decisive.

"The game changed earlier because after the first half hour, we stopped giving the ball away to Porto.

"But they didn't create chances. We managed to keep a cool head despite having fire in our stomach in order to avoid conceding a goal.

"I think the team had an excellent game with the exception of a 15-minute period, but we started the game highly charged."

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