City manager Manuel Pellegrini claimed, referee Jonas Eriksson was being biased in deciding the game as his side lost 2-0 to Barcelona.
He went on to add that the official should not have been appointed for the game because he is a Sweedish referee.
Pellegrini was disappointed by the referee’s call for a penalty, which resulted in a goal opening the score card.
“The referee did not have any control of the game,” Pellegrini said. “He decided for Barcelona from the beginning to the end. I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in such an important match and a referee who made a mistake against Barcelona in the group stages.”
City boss may face a legal action by UEFA’s disciplinary department for suggesting the referee set out to favor Barcelona.
In 2011, UEFA banned Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho for five matches, which was later reduced to three on a similar accusation against Real Madrid.
The manager believed his side deserved a free kick for a challenge on Jesus Navas and then felt Demichelis’ challenge on Messi was outside the penalty area.
He went on to complain: “From the beginning I felt the referee was not impartial to both teams. The referee decided the game. Before the penalty, it was a foul on Navas when he was three metres from the play so he could see it. And it was not a penalty, it was outside the box.”
Actually Pelegrini was referring to the March 2012 match when Eriksson denied Barcelona two potential penalties in a 0-0 draw against AC Milan.
He added: “A big game with two important teams, that kind of game needs a referee with more experience. This referee whistled the Barcelona-Milan game in the group and he made an important error against Barcelona. Today he remedied it.”
He justified his statement and explained saying that it should not have been a spot kick when Demichelis brought Messi down: “The contact was outside the box. You cannot continue the foul: the first foul was outside the box. Barcelona did not have chances before the goal. It was a pity because that important action decided the game.”
Pellegrini also suggested for Daniel Alves second goal for Barca in the 90th minute and Pellegrini added: “Playing 40 minutes with one player less is difficult against Barcelona but we played well with one player less and in the last minute they scored the second goal.”