Younes Belhanda has hit out at his red card in Nice's goalless draw at Bordeaux, claiming Francois Kamano "simulated'' to dupe the referee.
Both Mario Balotelli and Belhanda were sent off in injury time as Nice gave yet more ground at the Ligue 1 summit.
Monaco's 2-1 win over Caen cut Nice's lead at the top of the table to just two points heading into the Christmas break.
Balotelli reacted to his red card for kicking out at Igor Lewczuk by handing his shirt to a fan in the crowd -- while Belhanda took an entirely less philosophical approach.
"It was not deserved,'' Belhanda told Canal Plus. "He simulated and the referee allowed himself to be abused.''
Despite the galling draw, Belhanda insisted all Nice must focus on now is remaining top of the table at Christmas.
"We are first, this is the most important. We are in our rightful place,'' he added.
Vincent Koziello admitted Nice's stuttering performance did not merit more than a draw.
"Both teams wanted to win,'' he told Canal Plus. "To take a point here is a good result. I think the draw is deserved because they also had opportunities.
"Being top brings only happiness. We want to stay there as long as possible.''
Nice boss Lucien Favre insisted his side were happy with the point, and to cling on to top spot.
"That's a good point,'' Favre told Nice's official club website. "It could have flipped one way or the other. We're doing pretty well.
"It's Christmas, and 44 points, it's beautiful. There's progress to be made but we will work.
"That's what counts, we move on and will continue in 2017 with our philosophy.''