Guardiola accuses match officials of lying

MADRID - Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola accused officials of lying in their match report following his sending off during the 2-2 draw at Almeria in La Liga.

Guardiola watched Sunday's game at home to third-placed Valencia from the stands after the club's appeal against his dismissal for protesting a decision was rejected by the Spanish football federation (RFEF).

"I have seen the footage and I am not very proud," he told a news conference on Saturday.

"Seeing it I can understand the sending off and I don't like seeing myself like that.

"But when someone lies you have to appeal. They (the officials) lied in the match report and put things in there that I did not say."

Referee Carlos Clos Gomez wrote in his match report that he had sent Guardiola to the stands in the 27th minute for leaving his technical area and putting his face close to that of the assistant referee and shouting and waving his arms.

He quoted Guardiola as saying: "Your decisions are the wrong way around" and "You don't understand anything."

The draw at Almeria meant champions Barca were knocked off top spot by Real Madrid.

"There will be more (sendings off) because I know myself," Guardiola said. "I try to stay calm because of the institution I represent but sometimes I can lose it and they send me off."

The 39-year-old, who led Barca to six titles in 2009, said Real would be sure to pick themselves up after their elimination from the Champions League and would be unlikely to drop many points in the remaining league matches.

"I am very clear about the fact that we will need a lot of points to be champions," he said.

"They are the favourites, like us, to win the title. The really difficult task and merit is winning the (domestic) league and we have to focus on that.

"We have to concentrate on the league and that will give us the stability we need to fight in Europe."