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The Italian argues that the referee's decision was harsh on the Ballon d'Or winner but is nonetheless pleased with his side's performance in drawing 1-1 with Athletic Bilbao

Carlo Ancelotti has criticised referee Miguel Ayza's decision to dismiss Cristiano Ronaldo in Real Madrid's 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday evening.

The forward was shown a straight red card after an altercation with Carlos Gurpegui and Ander Iturraspe in the 76th minute but the Italian feels that the Portugal international did not deserve to be sent off for his role in the incident.

"It's tough for me to say because I was not close to it but the pictures show that it was a bit exaggerated," the Madrid coach told reporters of the sending-off.

Though the red made things difficult for Madrid, Ancelotti was pleased with the final result, despite missing the chance to take full advantage of Barcelona's 3-2 defeat to Valencia on Saturday.

"It was difficult to try to win the match with 10 players, especially because some of them were tired," he continued.

"I made changes but not because I wanted to try to win the match, more to put on fresher players to help the team at the end.

"It was a good match overall, especially the second half. The team was well balanced but Ibai's goal was a fantastic strike. We did not make any mistakes, it was a great goal.

"We hardly let them have any chances. Just one in the first half and none in the second half."

Madrid currently sit third in La Liga, trailing leaders Atletico by three points.