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Apr 9, 2009

Guardiola says Barca to appeal Messi booking

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has confirmed the club will appeal against the yellow card issued to Lionel Messi for diving during their incredible 4-0 rout of Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final first leg at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

Guardiola was so furious with referee Howard Webb's decision to book Messi, leaving the Argentine forward just one yellow card away from suspension, rather than award what he saw as a blatant penalty, that he was sent to the stand.

"Of course I am not very happy with the way I reacted and a Barca coach should not behave in that way," Guardiola said. "But the penalty was so unbelievably clear and should have been given."

Other than that slight blip the Barca boss was delighted with a thrilling performance in which Messi scored twice and Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry once each as the Primera Liga leaders took firm control of the tie ahead of the second leg in Munich next Tuesday.

"I was pleased with every aspect of our play and I get goose bumps when I see how hard my players are working," he said. "But it's just the first leg of the quarter-finals and we need to keep our feet on the ground and try to score one or two goals in the return leg."

However, Bayern coach Juergen Klinsmann conceded that the tie was all but over and his club would have to put their Champions League ambitions on ice for another year and focus on their domestic league.

"We clearly showed our limitations tonight in the face of a superb performance from Barca," Klinsmann said.

"It shows we have a lot of work to do to get up to the same level as the top four in Europe and our limit appears to be the quarter-finals of this competition."

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