Same old story - Ballack blames referee for Chelsea's Champions League exit

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Former Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack criticised the referee's decisions after his old club were knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona.

Lionel Messi scored twice and set up Ousmane Dembele in a 3-0 win for Barca at Camp Nou that sent his side into the quarter-finals 4-1 on aggregate.

But former Germany international Ballack felt Chelsea were unfairly treated by referee Damir Skomina, who rejected a penalty appeal when Gerard Pique challenged Marcos Alonso in the box, with the score at 2-0.

"Same old story #referee," Ballack wrote on Twitter, seemingly referring to the infamous semi-final between Chelsea and Barca in the 2008-09 Champions League.

 

On that occasion, Chelsea felt wronged by a series of controversial calls from Norwegian official Tom Henning Ovrebo, who told the media he received death threats following the match.

Ballack was playing for Chelsea as Ovrebo rejected a handful of penalty appeals made by the Blues, who were eventually knocked out by a dramatic late goal scored by Barca midfielder Andres Iniesta.

The 41-year-old later offered a more clear-minded assessment of the game on Wednesday, writing: "Messi made the difference."