Regardless of how Manchester City players, officials, management and fans try and spin it, there’s no hiding the fact that Barcelona were the better team in both encounters, and all the finger pointing and excuses made are simply an attempt to escape from the bitter truth.
Yes, Stéphane Lannoy made a mistake when he didn’t give Manchester City a penalty kick in the second half for a foul on Edin Dzeko. His mistake and arrogance led to the sending off of Pablo Zabaleta for saying too many words, and most of them probably not being too nice.
But Lannoy and his crew made more mistakes in favor of Manchester City, something the team and its players should have thought of or at least looked at the match tape before going on ridiculous accusations and trying to play the role of a team that didn’t make it far enough just because of the referee.
Barcelona had a goal ruled illegal for an offside that never was, and also deserved a penalty kick in the first half for Joleon Lescott’s tripping of Lionel Messi. Lannoy missed that as well in an awful performance from him, and hopefully his mistakes will lead him to a suspension of some sort. Match officials should be held accountable for their mistakes, and not protected and hidden from criticism by UEFA and football asocciations.
Manchester City took the next step in their evolution as a respectable European club, rising fast thanks to the money invested in them. But there’s something to be said about class and honor. Manuel Pellegrini showed none of that after the 2-0 loss in the first leg, and those suggesting officiating had anything to do with their exit after the round of 16 are simply lying or twisting the truth, trying to somehow make it fit into the trendy “Barca own all the officials” conspiracy theory.