Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has admitted to being "stupid and silly" after his sending-off in Thursday night's 2-1 Europa League quarter-final first leg defeat to Benfica in Lisbon.
Having taken an early lead through Daniel Agger and watched the Portuguese league leaders waste numerous chances the match turned on the 30th-minute dismissal of Babel.
The Holland international raised his hands to Luisao in a melee started by the Benfica defender after he had viciously gone through the back of Fernando Torres.
Babel said: "It was clear that Luisao had made an awful foul and all I wanted to do was back up Fernando. In the end maybe it was a stupid, silly thing for me to touch him in the face, but I think a yellow card would have been fair enough. But if they are the rules..."
Two second-half penalties from Oscar Cardozo turned the game around for Benfica to leave Babel regretting his actions.
"The referee told me the red card was for touching Luisao's face - that was it," added the Dutchman.
"He came very loud and very close with his face and I just tried to back him off with my hand (to say) don't come too close.
"That's it and in the end, they made it bigger than it was. But it was a mistake by me, I will learn from it and it won't happen again."
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