Jermaine Jenas claims Tottenham's chances of making the Champions League semi-final have been severely hampered by the "rash" decision of the "inexperienced" referee who sent Peter Crouch off during the 4-0 defeat to Real Madrid.
Harry Redknapp's side's hopes of making the last four were not helped in the slightest by Crouch, who felled Sergio Ramos and Marcelo deep inside the Real half to earn two yellow cards from referee Felix Brych and leave his team-mates to battle on without him for 75 minutes.
The 35-year-old, Jenas insists, should have exercised leniency given that both of the striker's fouls came deep in enemy territory at such an early stage in the match, saying: "I think the referee was a little bit rash. Maybe it was inexperience on his part more than anything."
He added: "At some point you have a word, you just talk to the player, rather than dishing out cards every two minutes."
Crouch has since apologised for the red card, but that will be of little comfort to Redknapp and his team-mates, who were torn apart by a brace from Emmanuel Adebayor and strikes from Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria.
Jenas says he holds no grudges against the 30-year-old striker for the sending off though.
"He was disappointed, as any professional would be. He knew what he did probably wasn't a sensible decision, but everybody was so fired up for the game and these things can happen," Jenas said.
"As soon as it happened my heart sank. We were up against Real Madrid with 10 men for 75 minutes. We stood up to them for a bit but it wasn't enough."
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