Sergio Ramos believes Real Madrid showed ‘the character that people ask of us’ in drawing with Valencia after going down to 10 men.
Mateo Kovacic was shown a straight red card for a lunge on Joao Cancelo with the score at 1-1 but Gareth Bale later put Madrid ahead, only for Paco Alcacer to equalise immediately.
“Clearly it’s been a very intense match. The team went out for three points but circumstances meant we haven’t got them,” Ramos said, AS reports.
“We went ahead and they levelled at the end, just a few minutes [before half time]. Losing a player made us work harder, maybe because we were near the victory.
“We came out with great intensity but they were able to take advantage in the last minute. When you have one player fewer, the physical exertion doubles. There’s more space and the team suffers more.
“The team has taken the character people ask of us, ask of this shield.”
Madrid Coach Rafa Benitez remains under pressure and Ramos was asked about the trainer, who was supported by the Valencia fans after a trophy-laden spell at Mestalla.
“I think Benitez has credit. Whoever is the Coach, they will always have the confidence of the players,” the Madrid captain replied.
“The referee? I don’t think they want to make mistakes. There were controversial moments. We were told at half time Bale should have had a penalty.
“Sometimes it’s wrong for one team and another time it’s wrong for another.”