Michael Carrick admits he was 'shocked' to be sent off at the end of Manchester United's 3-2 win over AC Milan.
The midfielder was shown a second yellow card in stoppage-time after flicking the ball away following Patrice Evra's foul on Alexandre Pato.
Sir Alex Ferguson had few complaints with the decision and stated that Portuguese referee Olegario Benquerenca had little option but to dismiss Carrick.
However, following a first red card of his professional career, Carrick feels he was harshly treated by the decision, which rules the England international out of the second leg of the UEFA Champions League last-16 tie in three weeks' time.
"It was very soft to be honest," Carrick told Sky Sports News.
"It rolled at me and I flicked it into Pat's path as he's ran past me.
"It wasn't as if there was a player from their team trying to get it and it didn't slow the game down in any way.
"I was just shocked really, to be honest."
Asked if he spoke to the referee about the incident, Carrick replied: "What can you say really?
"He said it was for kicking the ball away, but I don't believe I kicked the ball away to be honest.
"I didn't slow the game down in any way, I was just surprised more than anything."