'Ronaldo wrong about referee' - Xavi

The Barca midfielder claimed the official made the correct call for all three penalties, despite each being dubious, and says there are no Liga favourites any more

Xavi has slammed Cristiano Ronaldo for his criticism of the referee in Barcelona's 4-3 win over Real Madrid in Sunday's Clasico.

Real Madrid were 3-2 up at the Bernabeu when they saw Sergio Ramos dismissed for a challenge on Neymar, with Lionel Messi converting two subsequent penalties to complete his hat-trick and secure all three points for Barca.

The result leaves Atletico Madrid top of La Liga by virtue of their superior head-to-head record over Real - with the capital-based clubs just one point clear of Barca - and prompted Blancos star Ronaldo to allege Real were playing "against 12".

However, Xavi has defended referee Undiano Mallenco and claimed that the official seemed to make the right call with all three spot kick decisions.

"Cristiano is wrong and his criticism is harsh," the 34-year-old said. "As far as I’m concerned, they were all penalties, including the one from Dani Alves on Cristiano, from what I could see on the pitch."

Despite champions Barca hauling themselves back into the title race, Xavi does not consider there to be any outright top dogs to lift the trophy with nine games to go.

"Atletico are the leaders and they’re a warrior-like team, they're battlers,” he added. "There are no favourites from now on though - there are three teams who can win the title."