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ESPN FC Posted by ESPN staff
Feb 20, 2014

Demichelis holds hands up for red card

ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti gives his take on Manuel Pellegrini's postgame rant about the ref from Manchester City's 2-0 loss against Barcelona

Martin Demichelis has stated he does not blame referee Jonas Eriksson for sending him off during Manchester City’s 2-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday.

Martin Demichelis brought down Lionel Messi in the second half.
Martin Demichelis brought down Lionel Messi in the second half.

Marcotti: Don't blame the ref
Barcelona deny favouritism
Hunter: Patience rewarded
Curtis: The lid comes off

Demichelis was red-carded following a last-ditch tackle on Lionel Messi at the Etihad and the attacker stepped up to score the resulting, if controversial, penalty.

Despite contact appearing to initially take place outside of the box, Demichelis accepted blame on his part that he had "made the foul," but admitted he should not have made the challenge in the first place.

"I tackled him [Messi] because we were still outside the box. But I don’t blame the referee. It happened all too fast," Demichelis told The Sun. "I have seen the moment again on TV and think 'why did I have to tackle him and not keep running by his side?'

"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."

City manager Manuel Pellegrini was furious with Eriksson after the defeat and is now facing the prospect of a UEFA charge for his post-match rant at the Swedish official, who he deemed to favour Barcelona throughout the last 16 clash.

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