Manchester City Champions League referee involved in explosive game

Manchester City Etihad 2

Felix Brych, who is due to take charge of Manchester City v Barcelona, comes into the game off the back of an eventful appearance in the Bundesliga.

Manuel Pellegrini may want to advise his Manchester City team to be on their best behaviour against Barcelona at the Etihad tonight, with a no-nonsense German referee due to take charge of the game.

The Sky Blues met the Catalans at this stage of the competition last season but paid a hefty price for a late lunge from Martin Demichelis on Lionel Messi that saw the Argentine defender dismissed and City subsequently beaten 2-0.

A total of four yellow cards and one red were issued that day and this time around the referee, Felix Brych, could take an even tougher stance against any offenders when the teams line up.

The 39-year-old is a seasoned match official in the Bundesliga and took no prisoners last time out in the German top-flight.

Picked to referee the Rhine-Main derby between Mainz and Eintracht Frankfurt last weekend, Brych issued a total of seven yellow cards.

Two of those yellows were given to Frankfurt defender Carlos Zambrano who received the resulting red card and his marching orders in the 83rd minute of the game.

That was only the third time this season that Brych has issued a red card, having previously dismissed players in Stuttgart v Hamburg and Freiburg v Bayer Leverkusen earlier this season.

He is not averse to issuing yellow cards though, having previously brandished eight during Atletico Madrid’s 1-0 group stage win over Juventus.

Brych also officiated the first leg of Atletico’s quarter-final victory over Barcelona last season in a game that saw eight yellow cards brandished and with the German appearing to take a no-nonsense view on some of Spain’s top sides, Barca as much as City will need to play it straight here.

Picked to referee at the last World Cup in Brazil, the 39-year-old’s other most notable appearance came in the group phase game between Uruguay and Costa Rica, where Brych awarded a penalty to the Copa America champions as well as three yellow cards and a straight red. City will need to be careful.

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