Espanyol boss Javier Aguirre has refused to blame defender Javi Lopez for his team’s 1-0 loss at Osasuna on Sunday.
Lopez’s mis-hit clearance was picked up by Alvaro Cejudo, who cut inside before slamming the ball beyond the reach of goalkeeper Kiko Casillas for the only goal of the game.
However, at the post-match Press conference Aguirre came out in support of the experienced 27-year-old.
“Their goal was an accident that deprived us of at least a point, but it happened. To Javi Lopez I send a kiss, a hug and nothing more,” said the Mexican, who was sent from the dugout to the stands midway through the second half for comments made to referee Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva.
“I was dismissed for saying something I come out with 10 or 15 times every game. I admit it is an ugly expression and if I was sent off for it then all well and good.”
The visitors believed they should have had a penalty in stoppage time when the ball hit Osasuna defender Oier on the arm inside the penalty area, but the referee waved play on to the fury of the Espanyol players.
“I saw it on the television in the dressing room and it was a very clear handball. There was a hand involved but he didn’t give it.
“I thought it was involuntary and I must respect that,” explained Aguirre.