Sergio Ramos denies deliberately elbowing Mario Mandzukic

Sergio Ramos has denied deliberately elbowing Mario Mandzukic during Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final, first-leg meeting at the Vicente Calderon.

The Real Madrid defender has denied deliberately elbowing Atletico’s  Mandzukic after the pair became embroiled in a running battle during a fiery derby in the Spanish capital.

Sergio Ramos’ arm made contact with Mandzukic’s head in the 51st minute, leaving the Croatia international with blood streaming from a large gash above his eye.

Mandzukic was enraged by the incident, clearly in no doubt that the elbow was deliberate, but the accused pleaded his innocence after the game.

“I’m not getting into evaluating any fouls,” he told reporters in the mixed zone after the 0-0 draw at the Calderon. “There are referees for that.

“But I did not know if Mandzukic was near me or far away. I was not intending to hit him.”

The two will collide again in the second leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on April 22.