Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane believes he did not deserve his red card in Sunday’s win over Athletic Bilbao.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice as Madrid picked up a 4-2 win over Bilbao but the gloss was taken off the victory with Varane’s late expulsion.
The Frenchman received a yellow in the 16th minute and was handed a second for the first time in his professional career with seven minutes left to play.
However, Varane believes neither of his challenges deserved to have been punished with a card.
“I always want to play clean,” he told Real Madrid TV. “I do not play to hurt people.
“Neither of those two actions deserved yellow card.
“I respect the referees, but it was not fair. I jumped to get the ball ahead of my opponent, I did not try to hit him with my elbows.”
Varane added: “The team responded well and showed character. That is the most important.
“We needed that continuity. We want to fight until the end.”
Madrid are second in La Liga, with leaders Barcelona and third-placed Atletico Madrid still to play on Sunday.