Real Madrid manager, Carlo Ancelotti, felt that the red card for his superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo, was exaggerated and made it difficult for his side to win the game.
Real’s 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao was the first game in which the Los Blancos conceded after eight consecutive clean sheets and straight victories in January.
"The pictures show that Cristiano Ronaldo’s sending off was exaggerated", Ancelotti said after the game.
"It was difficult to try to win the match with 10 players, especially because some of them were tired. I made changes, but not because I wanted to try to win the match, more to put on fresher players to help the team at the end".
The draw means Real missed out on moving above Barcelona, who lost their first home game after 25 consecutive wins at home in La Liga on Saturday. But overall, Ancelotti was satisfied with his side’s performance despite not getting the three points.
"We played well. It was a high intensity match and we hardly let them have any chances. We did especially well in the second half,” the Real boss continued.
“It could have been different because we scored first and dominated the match afterwards. Athletic Bilbao scored a fantastic equaliser, but overall we are going away satisfied with how we played".
The Italian admitted that Real had a difficult first half and struggled to keep possession, but things looked much better after half-time. Ancelotti didn’t want to blame his players, and says his side lost two points because of a ‘fantastic strike’.
"It was a good match overall, especially the second half,” Ancelotti added
“In the first they pressed well, it was more difficult for us in possession and we had to play more on the counter. The second half was different. They didn’t press with as much intensity and we had more possession".
"After Jesé’s goal we had control of the match and did not suffer. The team was well-balanced, but Ibai’s goal was a fantastic strike.
“We did not make any mistakes, it was a great goal. We hardly let them have any chances.”
Real are now three points behind new log leaders Atletico, who moved to the summit of the La Liga table following their 4-0 against Real Sociedad and Barca’s 2-3 home loss to Valencia.
Was it a red card for Ronaldo and who of La Liga’s big three will be on top of the table at the end of the season? Have your say in the comment section below.