Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo defends red card actions

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The Independent Football

Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo defended his actions after being sent off during his side's 2-0 victory over Malaga.

The 24-year-old Portuguese was ordered off for catching Patrick Mtiliga with an elbow, a challenge which left the Malaga man with a broken nose.

Ronaldo explained after the game: "It was not my intention to injure Mtiliga. I'm very sad for what happened.

"Those who understand football know that my intention is always to play the ball. I learned in England not to deceive the referees.

"This is not a red card here or in anywhere in the world, I've seen worse things in other games. I didn't mean to injure the lad.

"I've spoken with Mtiliga and he told me that I didn't need to apologise because he doesn't believe I hurt him intentionally."

Barcelona head coach Pep Guardiola is refusing to get carried away even after the weekend victory against Real Valladolid ensured last season's champions completed the first half of the current campaign unbeaten.

Barca have won 15 and drawn four of their first 19 La Liga games and produced one of their most complete displays of the season to beat Valladolid 3-0.

Guardiola admitted after his side's latest success: "We are playing as well as last season.

"There is nothing wrong with finishing the first half unbeaten, but it is merely an anecdote, since there are a lot of games left. Last year at this time we had a 12-point lead, and we still had to win in the Bernabeu to win the league.

"What is important is that we continue to be aggressive and play in our own style.

Deportivo La Coruna defender Filipe Luis' season is over after he suffered a horrific injury in the 3-1 win against Athletic Bilbao.

The Brazilian could be sidelined for up to six months after suffering a broken right ankle and could miss this summer's World Cup finals in South Africa.

The highly-rated 24-year-old picked up the injury as he scored his team's opening goal, with coach Miguel Angel Lotina saying after the match: "I would rather have just 20 points and Filipe fit.

"Filipe is a great person and he was eager to go to the World Cup. There is nothing to celebrate tonight."