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Herbert Fandel insists there was nothing wrong with Stark's performance in the Champions League clash between Real Madrid and Barcelona on Wednesday

Wolfgang Stark's performance in the Real Madrid - Barcelona Champions League battle has been defended by the head of German referees Herbert Fandel.

Stark came under a hornets storm of criticism by Jose Mourinho, who was himself sent off, after he showed a straight red card to Pepe.

It led to fury from the bench and scuffles all over the pitch as Barca ran out 2-0 winners after Madrid had gone a man down.

However, Fandel, president for the referee's commission at the German FA (DFB), believes Stark did not press the kill switch on Real Madrid.

"I am enthusiastic. Stark did an excellent job and I am proud of his performance," he told DPA.

"It was a high-level performance in an incredibly difficult game. There are not many referees in Europe who could direct a game like this."

Mourinho was clearly seen sarcastically congratulating the officials on Pepe's sending off. It led him to being reprieved by Stark, and he was forced to vacate his seat.

After the game the coach was still furious, and suggested Barcelona were favoured as the heat-seeking missiles continued to fly.

But Fandel was eager not to get drawn into pitched battles with the 'Special One'.

"Mourinho's opinion? I don't care," he said.

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