Ruud van Nistelrooy refused to criticise the match officials after he was sent-off in last night's dramatic Madrid derby.

The Dutch ace had given Real the lead before his dismissal and said afterwards: "I found my dismissal a surprise.

"I think it was a mistake from the referee to show me red. But we must not be too critical. Footballers fail at times and referees also occasionally have bad games.

"For me, it was only yellow."

Van Nistelrooy added: "Anyway, I was very happy because I feel that justice was done with the 1-2 through Gonzalo Higuain. I suffered a lot watching the game on TV in the dressing room, but the great move from (Royston) Drenthe and the goal left a good taste in my mouth."