Tomás O Sé says "frustration" led to Stephen Cluxton’s kick on Kevin McLoughlin which saw the Dublin goalkeeper getting a straight red card against Mayo.
The former Kerry defender told RTÉ Sport that the All-Ireland-winning captain was unhappy that James Horan’s men had come up with a tactic to disrupt the flow of possession from the ‘keeper’s restarts.
Of Cluxton’s 28th-minute sending off, O Sé said: “It was a thing that happens in games, he lost the head for a split second. I’ve done it myself plenty of times, I know what it feels like.
“It wasn’t anything malicious. I think Kevin McLoughlin just stopped a short kick-out. I think it came from a bit of frustration, his kick-outs weren’t going as fluid all night.
"Mayo were squeezing up, it was something they did a bit of homework on from last year where in the second half [of the All-Ireland final] they fell down on in that regard.
“But this year they squeezed up and Stephen wasn’t too happy with the way things were going and when Kevin tried to stop the quick one he just lashed out.”
“It was just unfortunate; we all know that Stephen isn’t a dirty player or a malicious player or anything like that."
While it looked as if the dismissal would cost Dublin the game, Jim Gavin introduced Eoghan O’Gara wo scored two late goals to rescue a point for the home side.
However, O Sé reckoned that league champions Dublin were under extra pressure after going down to 14 men.
He added: “It put Dublin under pressure and [substitute goalkeeper Sean] Currie was under pressure in the second half, a couple of kick-outs went over the line and giving a goal away from another one and a lot of them were up for grabs.
“Dublin, 90 per cent of their game is from Cluxton’s kick-outs and making sure of possession so he was definitely a loss.”