Luis Figo has launched a scathing attack on referees after being sent off in Real Madrid’s 2-1 home defeat to his former club Barcelona.

The Portugal midfielder was furious after being shown a second yellow card for a challenge on Carles Puyol.

Although Figo made minimal contact with the Barcelona defender, referee Alfonso Perez perhaps had little option but to dismiss the Real star.

Figo is adamant that Los Merengues are now paying for the dubious award of a last-gasp penalty in a crucial clash with current leaders Valencia as he feels the officials are trying to redress the balance.

“The referee was arrogant and didn’t give anything in our favour,” claimed the midfielder.

“We are suffering because of that penalty we were given in the last minute of the Valencia match.

“From that day, the referees have been scared and are giving everything against us.

“They are deliberately going against us in nearly every game.”

Real are second in the table four points behind leaders Valencia and four ahead of third placed Barcelona.