Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has backed up his manager Manuel Pellegrini’s claims that Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson was a decisive factor in their 2-0 defeat to Barcelona on Tuesday, reports Sky Sports.
Pellegrini was scathing in his criticism of the Swedish official following the defeat, and although Kompany admits that Barca played well, he believes Eriksson did not allow the game to flow.
A Lionel Messi penalty which resulted in the sending off of Martin Demichelis, and a late strike from Dani Alves has put the Catalan giants in pole position to qualify for the quarter finals.
However, Kompany does not believe City were outclassed, and when asked if Barca were the best team he has faced all season, the Belgian defender replied: “Not at all.
“Incredibly efficient, though – they have great individual quality. By no means did we think they were superior. When it was 11 v 11, maybe we showed a bit more respect.
“There was a lot of soft fouls. In the Premier League, they would have not been given. If the tempo was in this game, it would have been to our advantage.
“If the second leg is the same, and we manage to stay away from some fouls, we have a chance.”
Meanwhile, Pellegrini is facing the prospect of disciplinary action from UEFA, after claiming Eriksson lacked ‘impartiality.’
He said: “From the beginning, I felt the referee was not impartial so he decided the game with a foul that he didn’t whistle against and a penalty with Demichelis that was not a penalty, it was outside the box.
“He did not have any control of the game. He was on the side of Barcelona from the beginning until the end.
“I think it was not a good idea to put a referee from Sweden in charge of such an important match, especially a referee who has made an important mistake against Barcelona in a previous match.”