Gerard Pique bemoaned Real Madrid's tactics in their 2-0 defeat to Barcelona and is adamant Pepe's sending off was the correct decision.
Two late goals from Lionel Messi won the game for Barcelona after Pepe was given a straight red for a challenge on Dani Alves.
Pique blasted Jose Mourinho's side's approach to the game and feels the dismissal of the Portuguese midfielder was the right call by referee Wolfgang Stark.
“They think the only way to stop us is playing like this [ill-tempered football],” Pique told Sky Sports.
“They didn’t want to play football, they didn’t want to keep the ball.
“The red card was a red card. He [Pepe] tackled really strong and for Dani Alves it could be painful and after that there was another reaction, I think Marcelo against Pedro – it was another red card.
“The referee can’t see it, but I think that finally we are really happy for the win and we’ve taken a really good step to go to the final.”
At the end of the first half both sets of players squared up after a tense start to the game, and after the melee calmed down Barcelona reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto was sent off but Pique was unable to provide any clear explanation of why the clash had happened.
“[I saw] Nothing. I think that we played well in the first half but in the second half we have to do a step more to win and we did that.”
Pique maintains Pep Guardiola's side were the only ones who were mindful of possession, as well as playing attacking football.
“I think we played really well,” he said.
“We deserved the win and we were the only team that wants to play football.
“They were at home and had the pressure to try and play and attack us, and they have to go to Camp Nou [and try to win]. But they didn’t want to play and I think we deserved to win.”
The victory puts Barcelona in a commanding position going into the second leg, and a potential final against Pique’s former club Manchester United but the centre-back dismisses any talk of reaching Wembley.
“Stop thinking about the final,” he continued.
“I want to think about the next game [second leg] at Camp Nou against Madrid because with another team we can perhaps think we’re in the final.
“But not against Madrid, they’ve won nine Champions League titles, so they’re really strong and [have] a really good squad and we will have to fight really hard.”