Ernesto Valverde insisted Mikel San Jose “is incapable of hitting anyone” after his red card in Athletic Bilbao’s goalless draw with Malaga on Sunday.
The defensive midfielder was dismissed on just 19 minutes for appearing to hit Charles in the face after the striker tried to upend him from behind, and his Coach maintained the incident was a yellow at best as he was provoked.
“He could’ve been shown a yellow because [his reaction] came from Charles’ tackle,” he said after the game.
“I know Mikel and he’s incapable of hitting anyone.
“A yellow would’ve been valid because he pushed [Charles] out of being provoked.
“It was a little push, but many people came off the Malaga bench to protest and the fourth official only warned them.”