Barcelona's Gerard Pique: Focus on match officials is turning football 'into a circus'

The Blaugrana defender is looking ahead on Saturday's La Liga clash after commending his side's performance in their stalemate at Mestalla
Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique looked to sway attetention away from the officials following his side's 1-1 draw in the Copa del Rey semi-final against Valencia.

Los Che were left outraged at Mestalla against Barcelona in their Copa del Rey semi-final clash after the Catalans' keeper, Jose Manuel Pinto, escaped a first-half sending off.

Speaking to the Spanish international said: "We are putting more importance on the referees than we are on the player. We're turning this into a circus."

Roberto Soldado had latched onto a terrific through ball before reaching it ahead of Pinto. Valencia's striker was then halted when Barcelona's second-choice goalkeeper appeared to handle outside the penalty area only for referee to deny Los Che's appeals for a spot kick.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola had admitted that Pinto was fortunate to stay on the pitch but Pique analysed the team's performance.

"We dominated the match, they were strong in defence but it is always difficult to win here. We had our chances, but it is a good result to take back [to Camp Nou]."

The former Manchester United player concluded by turning his attention to the weekend match against Real Sociedad: "It is a late kick-off, so we will suffer because of the cold."