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Pep dodges referee row

Guardiola ready for 'honour' of Wembley final

By Rob Parrish - Follow me on Twitter @skysportsrobp.   Last Updated: 03/05/11 11:21pm

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Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola hit back at suggestions that the officials favoured his side in their UEFA Champions League victory over Real Madrid.

Barca secured their berth at Wembley following a 1-1 draw on the night to claim a 3-1 aggregate success, with Pedro on target for the dominant hosts and Marcelo levelling matters for the visitors.

Real were denied the opener on the night when referee Frank De Bleeckere penalised Cristiano Ronaldo for a foul on Javier Mascherano moments before Gonzalo Higuain curled home early in the second half.

That came hard on the heels of the controversial first leg when Jose Mourinho blasted the officials for the dismissal of Pepe as Lionel Messi's late double swung the tie in the favour of the Catalan club.

With Mourinho electing not to attend due to his touchline and dressing room ban, midfielder Xabi Alonso and assistant Aitor Karanka both laid the blame at the door of the officials.

"It has been a very tough 20 days and we have played four times against the strongest team and the richest team in the world, they can buy everything."
Pep Guardiola Quotes of the week

But Guardiola told Sky Sports: "I don't have time for that.

"It has been a very tough 20 days and we have played four times against the strongest team and the richest team in the world, they can buy everything.

"Many times the referee has an influence but we were very good in the first game and we were very good in the second game."


Guardiola also said he was happy to be returning to the venue where the club won their first European Cup 19 years ago.

"Football is coming home so it an honour to play at Wembley," he added.

"We won our first Champions League in 1992 at the old Wembley and we are ever so proud for our club and players."

The 40-year-old Barca manager thinks Manchester United will progress against Schalke to set up a repeat of the 2009 final which his side won 2-0, but he believes that would have no bearing on any potential rematch.

"I suppose it will be Manchester [in the final]," he admitted.

"It was two years ago and I think Sir Alex Ferguson will always be there so for us it is an honour and for me as a young coach it is an honour to arrive at the final and play them."

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