Espanyol goalkeeper Pau Lopez has insisted that he would never set out to hurt an opposition player amid suggestions that he deliberately injured Lionel Messi during Wednesday's Catalan derby.
Lopez was pictured standing on Messi's ankle during what was an ill-tempered affair at Camp Nou, which sparked a furious reaction from the Argentine.
The Spanish stopper, however, has denied claims that he, along with his teammates, set out to injure Barcelona's players during the clash in Catalonia.
"Because I've been asked as a result of the excessive reaction yesterday, and it has generated a big bubble with what happened. I've never gone out to hurt anyone," Sport quotes Lopez as saying.
"A derby is a special game. It has great intensity and the players from the cantera such as me particularly like it. I have a clear conscience. I've enjoyed [the two games] against Barca. They've been the best, most special in recent months because I felt the glory of defending the Espanyol shirt in a derby."
The return leg will take place at Espanyol next week.