LAZIO defender Patric has been banned for four games and fined £9,000 after BITING Lecce’s Giulio Donati.
The ex-Barcelona star lost his head and saw red in stoppage time as Lazio’s Serie A title bid all but ended with a 2-1 loss at the relegation strugglers.
But Lecce right-back Donati, 30, has DEFENDED Patric – because the 27-year-old did no physical harm and said sorry afterwards.
Donati told ANSA: “He did nothing to me and apologised straight after, so bear that in mind.
“I also live with emotions so I understand Patric why, in such a hard-fought game, did what he did.
“Patric apologised straight after.
“His gesture was rightfully punished with a red, but it didn’t do me any harm.
“Therefore, I’d ask people to think long and hard before judging him.
“The Lazio player made things right, unlike [Federio] Bonazzoli who didn’t even apologise [for a kick]. That saddens me.”
Second-placed Lazio remain seven points behind champions Juventus with seven games remaining.
And Patric will be suspended for top-flight clashes with Sassuolo, Udinese, Cagliari and Juve.
His four-match ban compares to the 10-game Premier League ban handed to then-Liverpool star Luis Suarez for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic in 2013.