While Manchester City supporters may feel aggrieved this morning, cheated even, after referee Jonas Eriksson awarded Barcelona a dubious penalty when Lionel Messi was brought down by centre back Martin Demichelis in an incident in the 54th minute that appeared to begin outside the area when the two giants of European football competed at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday evening, there has since been clarity over the issue.
La Liga expert Guillem Balague, author of the recently-published Messi, took to his official social media account to explain the awarding of the spot-kick, which resulted in the first of Barcelona's two goals in a match where City returned a nil score.
If faults starts outside the box but continues inside it is a penalty. I thought everybody knew that but apparently not— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) February 19, 2014
Manuel Pellegrini was outraged at the officiating of the match, a game which is, most likely, now beyond them as the club are charged with the task of overturning the deficit at Camp Nou: 'I have a complaint,' Pellegrini is quoted by Sky Sports to have said. 'Not only for the penalty and red card but the whole match we did not have a referee with impartiality to both teams.'
Pellegrini's outburst has not sat well with pundits, in particular Richard Keys, who blogged on his official website today: 'Pelligrini can kick and scream as much as he likes. The allegation that ref Jonas Eriksson somehow cheated his team because of previous indiscretions towards Barcelona is both puerile and futile.
'I hope UEFA hit him hard as a result. The only person to blame for the 0-2 defeat to Barcelona is Pelligrini himself.'
Keys continued: 'City and their fans were full of bravado. 'We'll take them on and beat them. No-one can deal with Toure'. Really?
'And as for the suggestion 'if you're going to win it you have to beat everybody anyway'. Nonsense. Not if somebody else beats them. Nobody is playing Munich if Arsenal see them off. So winning the group did matter. And the reality of not doing so has come back to bite them.'
image: © jeroen_bennink