Madrid: Spanish media on Thursday rounded on Swedish referee Jonas Eriksson for his handling of the Champions League quarter-final that saw Barcelona come away with a 0-0 away draw against AC Milan.
Eriksson was maligned for having missed two potential penalties as the Italian and Spanish champions played out the goalless draw at the San Siro on Wednesday, leaving next week's quarter-final second leg finely poised.
"And what about this penalty?" Catalan sports daily Sport headlined on its front page alongside a photo of Barcelona's Alexis Sanchez, prostrate in the penalty box.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola was restrained in his post-match press conference, saying simply that Eriksson had not seen the foul by AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati on Sanchez.
"Eriksson missed a huge penalty for the Chilean," the AS newspaper countered.
Sanchez had been played into the box by Sergio Busquets in the 15th minute and rounded Abbiati before the keeper caught one of Sanchez's feet before the Chilean had the chance to fire off a shot.
Another penalty call came at the end of the match when Carles Puyol had his jersey tugged by Milan defender Djamel Mesbah at a corner.
"The referee played the ostrich and shut his eyes to several penalties, one on Alexis and the other on Puyol," said El Mundo Deportivo.
Marca added: "Barca had a right to complain about two penalties that were overlooked but the fact remains that Milan played very well and will try their hearts out come the return match at Camp-Nou."
Story first published on: Thursday, 29 March 2012 16:04 IST
Gerrard says he understood the striker's reasons for going to Catalonia.