Valencia defender Gabriel has been brutally slammed by furious fans for his “disgusting challenge” on Vinicius Junior in Real Madrid’s 2-0 win on Thursday.
Goals from Marco Asensio and Vinicius in the second half sealed an important three points for Carlo Ancelotti’s men at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid’s victory ensured the defending Spanish champions kept pace with Barcelona in the La Liga title race, with Xavi’s men five points clear at the halfway stage.
Valencia were reduced to 10 men in the second half at the Bernabeu after former Arsenal man Gabriel was dismissed for a reckless tackle on Vinicius.
Gabriel came nowhere close to retrieving the ball after coming in with a flying boot, which sent Vinicius through the air before the Madrid star crashed onto the pitch.
An unimpressed Vinicius confronted Gabriel over the challenge when he leapt back to his feet, with the challenge sparking a heated standoff from both teams.
Fans were left unimpressed with the 32-year-old Gabriel, with the Brazilian centre-back called out for his “aggression” and “pathetic” actions on the pitch.
“Simply an aggression,” one fan tweeted.
Another Twitter user wrote: “Channelling his inner [Sergio] Ramos and Pepe.”
A third added: “How can a player be this clumsy? This is pathetic from Gabriel.”
While one fan posted: “Absolutely disgusting challenge this, no need at all.”
Speaking after the La Liga match, Valencia interim manager Voro admitted that Gabriel was in the wrong for his red-card challenge on Madrid star Vinicius.
“Paulista was in the wrong. It was a clear red card,” he said.
“It was a consequence of his rage. It was difficult for us by then and with 10 men it was impossible.”