‘The ref thought there was cover’

Athletic Bilbao’s Ander Iturraspe has given his view on being booked and not sent for a foul on Barcelona’s Neymar in Week 15.

The midfielder brought down the Brazilian forward during yesterday’s 1-0 win for Athletic at San Mames, and picked up a yellow card amid protests from the Barca side for a red card.

“Neymar cut across me, which I did not expect, and he fell, but the referee considered that Mikel Balenziaga was able to get there,” mused Iturraspe on the decision.

“It was a difficult decision. We have had many decisions against us and for a questionable decision in our favour it should mean nothing.

“Yesterday was a triumph for our work, we all pulled together, working much to help each other, running a lot and pushing hard.

“At certain moments, we were able to pause with the ball. We knew what had to be done. It was a big game for us. It is very difficult to keep Barcelona to so few chances.

“Already fourth? There is much more of the season to go, even as we are doing very well. The key is to maintain our consistency.

“The season is long, there are many points to get. This win gives us a lot of morale, we have looked to defeat Barca for years.

“We have a very clear objective and our thinking is not towards making the Champions League. That would be a very serious mistake and is not where we are coming from.”

Tags Iturraspe Neymar