03/02/2014 04:22 GMT | Updated 03/02/2014 04:59 GMT

Athletic Bilbao 1-1 Real Marid: Cristiano Ronaldo Controversially Sent Off (VIDEO)

Cristiano Ronaldo was harshly sent off for the seventh time in his career as 10-man Real Madrid were held to a 1-1 draw by Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

The forward was sent off for reacting to a shove by Carlos Gurpegi and then a confrontation with Ander Iturraspe in the 75th minute, although he appeared to be more sinned against than sinner.

Cristiano Ronaldo's 7 Red Cards In Pictures

Only a minute earlier Athletic had scored a brilliant equaliser through substitute Ibai, firing in a bouncing ball from the edge of the area with only his second touch.

Ronaldo temporarily sees the funny side as Athletic players surround him

Madrid held on for a point at San Mamés, having gone ahead after 65 minutes through striker Jese on his first league start, but the loss of Ronaldo now through suspension, for a possible three games, could well have an impact in the Primera Division title race.

These two dropped points left them three points behind city rivals Atletico and level with Barcelona, whose 2-3 defeat to Valencia on Saturday marked their first defeat at home in the league since April 2012.