‘Cheryshev can happen to anyone, but…’

Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde has leapt to Real Madrid’s defence in the Denis Cheryshev saga but maintained “Raul Garcia informed us of his ban”.

Valverde was speaking after Los Leones 2-0 win at Linense in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last-32 tie on Thursday as he compared the cases of Cheryshev and Garcia, the latter of whom arrived at San Mames with a suspension.

“[The Cheryshev saga can happen to anyone, although you must always be aware of these little details,” the Coach said after the game.

“Raul Garcia informed us of his ban when he joined.

“We could’ve done a little more damage to [Linense] in the second half, but we started the game well enough.

“We’re aware that these types of games can be tricky, but we played with great enthusiasm.

“Once we went 2-0 up, unconsciously, the team put the handbrake down a little.”

Tags Ernesto Valverde Linares