Demichelis admits he deserved red card in defeat to Barca
Manchester City defender Martin Demichelis has announced that he doesn’t blame match referee Jonas Eriksson for showing him the red card in the first leg of the last-16 Champions League tie with Barcelona on Tuesday.
The Spanish side ended the game with a 2-0 win over their English adversaries, but both goals occurred after the sending off of Demichelis. The center-back brought down Barcelona star Lionel Messi who then lined up for the spot-kick and drew first blood for the side.
Eriksson’s decision to send Demichelis off caused quite a controversy. Well, firstly the replay of the tackle showed that Messi had been brought down outside of the box and secondly the tackle didn’t appear to have any serious malice in it.
Nonetheless, Demichelis didn’t complain about the decision and walked off the pitch without creating a lot of fuss. Barcelona got their lead on the following spot-kick from Messi and later took advantage of the ten-man team to score another goal, this time Brazilian full back Dani Alves being the man who placed the ball in the back of the net.
Demichelis admits he “made the foul” and accepted the result. Demichelis also wished that he had just ran along Messi instead of making a tackle and ruining all the of the hard work from his team.
“I tackled him [Messi] because we were still outside the box. But I don’t blame the referee. It happened all too fast,” Demichelis told The Sun. “I have seen the moment again on TV and think 'why did I have to tackle him and not keep running by his side?'
“I was sure that I would get the ball when I made the tackle. And then you think that you will steal the ball from Messi, you realise that you don’t. But I made the foul.”
Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini lambasted against Eriksson after the game. The Chilean tactician complained to UEFA about putting a man who took away decisions from Barcelona in the past in charge of a crucial game.
Pellegrini also said that UEFA shouldn’t have put a referee who primarily takes care of the Swedish league. The rant appears to have caught UEFA’s attention and a hefty fine along with a couple of matches worth touchline ban appears to be heading Pellegrini’s way.