Sergio Ramos insists he didn't mean to catch Lionel Messi in the face 10 months ago

Sergio Ramos insists he didn't mean to catch Lionel Messi in the face

Messi reacted angrily after being caught in the face by Ramos.

Sergio Ramos has insisted he didn't intend to catch Lionel Messi in the face during Real Madrid's El Clasico defeat to Barcelona on Saturday night.

Ramos had collided with Messi during a challenge shortly before half-time at the Bernabeu, his forearm making contact with the Argentine's face.

Messi reacted angrily, going head to head with Ramos shortly after before the pair were separated.

Speaking after the game, however, Ramos attempted to play down the incident.

"These things happen in games," the defender said.

"I did not mean to catch in him. However, he has taken it very badly and stayed down. The referee made the decision and that is the end of it for me."

A single goal from Ivan Rakitic was enough to settle the game, helping Barcelona tighten their grip on top spot in LaLiga.

Ernesto Valverde's side moved ten points clear of second place Atletico Madrid who play their game in hand against Real Sociedad in San Sebastian on Sunday afternoon.

The defeat for Real Madrid - their eighth in the league this season - means they remain in third, 12 points behind Barca.