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Feb 13, 2013

Ancelotti: Zlatan's red card 'not fair'

PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti has been left fuming after a late red card to striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic marred a 2-1 victory over Valencia in the first-leg of the clubs' Champions League tie.

PSG were in control of the match and, thanks to first-half strikes from Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore, looked to be taking a strong 2-0 aggregate lead back to Paris for the return fixture.

But a frantic final four minutes turned the game on its head with Rami stealing a precious goal for the hosts before Ibrahimovic was shown a straight red card for lashing out at Valencia's Andres Guardado.

A livid Ancelotti said he could not understand why his striker, now banned for the return leg, was dismissed for what he thought was innocuous challenge.

"Ibrahimovic's red card was not deserved. I don't understand it. It's not fair," Ancelotti told Canal+.

"We conceded a goal and Ibrahimovic got a red card and I don't think that he deserved it because it was a normal tackle. And so, because of this, we are really disappointed because the play was really good, we played really well, focused on the game, and for this we have to be happy but the end of the game was not good for us."

"I think it was a normal tackle, nothing special, I was surprised to see a red card."

PSG director and former AC Milan coach Leonardo also weighed into the argument, believing the Swedish striker was harshly dealt with due to his past indiscretions.

"Ibrahimovic's red card was a bit severe," the Brazilian told beIN Sport. "It was because of his reputation."

And despite agreeing with Leonardo's sentiments, PSG defender Mamadou Sakho was adamant the victory in the hostile environment of the Mestalla should be squad's focus, not Ibrahimovic's late marching orders.

"We're disappointed to concede a goal, especially at the end of the game," Sakho said. "But overall, it's a good result. To come here and win is very good after all.

"With Ibrahimovic, it is known that with his character, he may release a small gesture like that. But we must especially remember the victory."

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