Vincent Kompany blames the referee for costing Manchester City the first leg of the tie against FC Barcelona in the Champions League

Slamming the referee for his performance in the crucial first leg match between Manchester City and Barcelona, Vincent Kompany admitted that the referee had a role to play in City’s 2-0 defeat to Barcelona at home.

Asked if he thought  Barcelona outplayed City in the first leg of the Champions League tie, Kompany dismissed talks of Barcelona being the best side City have played all season.

“Not at all. (They were) Incredibly efficient, though – they have great individual quality. By no means did we think they were superior.”

Following Pellegrini’s complaint against the Swedish referee, Kompany backed the manager as he believed that a lot of ‘soft fouls’ were given against City which disrupted their momentum in the game.

“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.”

 However the Belgian defender accepted that maybe Manchester City showed too much respect to the Spanish champions for which it paid a hefty price.

“When it was 11 v 11, maybe we showed a bit more respect.”

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“Important mistakes against a great team like Barcelona make it difficult to win.”

Meanwhile Manuel Pellegrini has expressed his complaint against the match officials in the first leg after accusing the referee of lacking ‘impartiality’. The manager believes that the referee was on ‘Barcelona’s side’ right from the start and that Manchester City paid the price for his bad decisions.

“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.”

Criticizing the referee for his dismal performance which resulted in City losing the tie 2-0, Pellegrini indicated that the referee was out to make amends for Barcelona after having made crucial errors in the previous matches.

“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.”

Pellegrini is understood to have made these allegations based on Eriksson’s performance in the 2012 Champions League Quarter finals where he came under criticism for failing to award the Catalans two crucial penalties.

“This referee whistled the Barcelona-Milan and he made an important error against Barcelona. Today he rearranged it.”

Accusing the referee to have decided the game by failing to award City a foul due to Busquet’s challenge on Navas which in turn resulted in a quick counter-attack, Pellegrini believes that the penalty shouldn’t have been awarded as the foul was committed outside the  box.

“He decided the game. He decided the game because it was a foul by (Sergio) Busquets on Navas. The referee was three metres away and he didn’t blow the whistle and after that the foul from Demichelis is outside the box, it’s not a penalty.

“Important mistakes against a great team like Barcelona make it difficult to win.”

Following a 2-0 defeat at home, City face an uphill task as they visit Camp Nou knowing that the only way to make it to the Quarter finals of the Champions League is by breaking the Catalan defence in their own backyard. Despite his protests, City manager refused to throw in the towel just yet.

“We are going to try, of course we will try. We are going to play at Camp Nou and we did it against Bayern Munich also after losing at home (in the group stage).”