Karanka plays down bookings

Aitor Karanka has dismissed the idea that Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos deliberately got booked for Real Madrid in midweek.

The two are under scrutiny for both picking up yellow cards in the closing stages of Madrid’s 3-0 Champions League quarter-final first leg win over Galatasaray on Wednesday evening.

With it resulting in both players missing the second leg through suspension, thus avoiding a possible suspension for any semi-final apperance, the two are suspected of deliberately getting themselves booked.

“There is no controversy. The four cards received were all equal,” reflected Karanka to reporters today.

“A 3-0 scoreline could have been complicated by a goal against. They had several dangerous attackers and we wanted to avoid quick free-kicks. These are issues of the game.”

Karanka was talking ahead of Madrid’s home test this weekend against Levante, when changes are again expected to the starting line-up.

Iker Casillas is confirmed as in the squad, but only for a place on the bench.

“As seen in Zaragoza, there are players who are not playing regularly and for them there is no better motivation than to play at 100 per cent when given the opportunity. And any of player of Madrid has a lot of quality to play to their best.”

Real Madrid squad to face Levante: Casillas, Diego Lopez, Jesus, Pepe, Ramos, Marcelo, Arbeloa, Albiol, Nacho, Kaka, Ozil, Xabi Alonso, Essien, Modric, Callejon, Di Maria. Cristiano Ronaldo, Benzema, Higuain

Tags Alonso Galatasaray Karanka Ramos UEFA