• Champions League

UEFA probe Pellegrini comments

ESPN staff
February 20, 2014
Manuel Pellegrini was upset with the way referee Jonas Eriksson controlled the match © Getty Images

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini could face action from UEFA over his comments following their 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona after the European governing body launched an investigation into his remarks.

Pellegrini strongly criticised Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson and appeared to question his impartiality after the game, which turned on the decision to award Barca a penalty and send off City defender Martin Demichelis for a foul on Lionel Messi in the 54th minute.

"UEFA has mandated a disciplinary inspector to commence an investigation concerning the press interviews given by the Manchester City FC head coach Manuel Luis Pellegrini to media after the above-mentioned match,'' a statement from the governing body read.

"Based on the outcome of this investigation, a decision will be taken on whether disciplinary proceedings will be opened.''

A host of Pellegrini's players including Fernandinho, Samir Nasri and Pablo Zabaleta believe that Eriksson made the wrong call, although Demichelis has since taken responsibility for the foul on Messi, stating: "I was sure that I would get the ball when I made the tackle. And then you think that you will steal the ball from Messi, you realise that you don't. But I made the foul."

Sergio Busquets - who City believed impeded Jesus Navas in the build-up to the penalty - stated that "excuses are for losers," and denies his challenge on the City winger was a foul.

Dani Alves added a late second on Wednesday night at the Etihad to compound the hosts' misery and make progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League an unlikely goal for Pellegrini's quadruple-chasing side.

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