Alonso: Never a sending off

Xabi Alonso has insisted that Cristiano Ronaldo shouldn’t have been sent off against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The Real Madrid forward was given a straight red card for what the referee thought was an elbow to Carlos Gurpegi, during Los Blancos’ 1-1 draw with Los Leones.

“It was not aggressive, Cristiano Ronaldo’s red was exaggerated, Gurpegui made the most of it and the crowd influenced the referee throughout the match,” he told reporters.

“This always happens, it's nothing new. Cristiano shouldn’t have done what he did but it is not a sending off, that went against us.

“We came here with the intention of winning because it was a good opportunity to pick up points in the league but we knew it was going to be a difficult trip.

“It was a fair result. It was a very good and intense match, the referee got some things wrong but that's normal.

“It is a shame to draw after going ahead, which was the most difficult thing. Ibai scored a great goal. We struggled to control the ball and get out from the back easily in the first half.

“We were better in the second half and created more chances. It was tougher to get a second after they had scored, but we did well despite playing with one less.”

About the La Liga table, that sees Atletico Madrid top and Real Madrid and Barcelona level in second, the midfielder said: “We don’t have to look at other teams and have our fate in our own hands.

“There are a lot of points left to play for and it looks like that what happens between now and the end of the season will be very interesting.”

Tags Ronaldo Xabi Alonso