Alvaro Negredo has revealed that Gerard Pique asked referee Jonas Eriksson not to show him a yellow card, after the Manchester City striker tackled his rival in the 27th minute during the game against Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League last 16.
However, Eriksson refused to follow Pique's advice and decided instead to book Negredo, as he already had done with Barcelona right-back Dani Alves following a foul on Gael Clichy.
Negredo believes the Swedish referee made many mistakes during the game, showing four yellow cards and one red to Martin Demichelis. He also stopped the game frequently while blowing his whistle for minor incidents.
Asked in an interview with Spanish Radio Station Onda Cero about his opinion of the referee, Negredo said. "We are used to a different standard of refereeing. In England a referee would not have blown for so many fouls.
"But football is like that. Sometimes the referees favour you and another they take away..."
He also spoke about his yellow card following his tackle on Pique: "I went to the ball with power but then I retracted my leg. Even Pique told the referee not to show me a yellow card.
"Pique said no, gesturing with his hand, because he knew my intention was not bad, I withdrew my leg when I saw that I could not reach the ball.
"And the problem is that after that the referee did not maintain the level, he began to single out any minor incident. It was not his best day."
The Manchester City forward also revealed what Demichelis told them about the decisive moment of the game, when the referee sent off the Argentinian centre-back and awarded a penalty to Barcelona, despite what looked like his contact with Lionel Messi being outside the area.
"Demichelis told us that he believed the first contact was outside the area. But the referee decided that it was in. Maybe, he should have awarded just a foul, rather than a penalty, the result would have been different."
Barcelona finally got a 2-0 victory that left Manchester City almost without any hope for the second leg at the Nou Camp, but Negredo claims that they will do their best in order to turn the tie around.
"It is going to be very difficult, we know that we have very few chances but it is not impossible. We will try."