Real Madrid midfielder Xabi Alonso feels Carlos Gurpegui and the San Mames crowd contributed to Cristiano Ronaldo's dismissal on Sunday.
The Portugal international was shown the red card following an altercation with the Athletic Bilbao defender 15 minutes from time as Real were held 1-1.
Ronaldo raised his hand to Gurpegui and, while Alonso confessed that was an error on his team-mate's part, he felt referee Miguel Ayza was influenced by other factors.
"It was not aggressive, Cristiano Ronaldo's red was exaggerated, Gurpegui made the most of it and the crowd influenced the referee throughout the match," he said.
"This always happens, it's nothing new. Cristiano shouldn't have done what he did but it is not a sending off, that went against us."
Real's dropped points came on a weekend where Barcelona were beaten and Atletico Madrid moved three points clear at the top.
Alonso was frustrated not to pick up a victory but felt the result was a fair one.
"We came here with the intention of winning because it was a good opportunity to pick up points in the league but we knew it was going to be a difficult trip," he added.
"It was a fair result. It was a very good and intense match, the referee got some things wrong but that's normal."