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The Spanish tactician praised his side's efforts as the Catalan club put one foot into the Champions League final, but steered firmly clear of certain other topics

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola believes his side are one step closer to the Champions League final after their 2-0 triumph against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.

However, the former midfielder refused to rule out Madrid just yet, stating respect must be shown to Jose Mourinho's men.

A double from Lionel Messi won the game for the Catalan giants which was somewhat overshadowed by three red cards being distributed to Jose Manuel Pinto, Pepe and Mourinho.

"We are one step away from the final but we are not at Wembley yet. We respect Real Madrid a lot and we know they are capable of anything so we won't underestimate them," the 40-year-old told reporters after the game.

Guardiola was full of praise for his side especially proud that 12 of the players in the matchday squad came through the team's youth ranks.

"We played a very good game with a lot of control and balance. We also had aggression, I am very pleased with my players.

"We came here with 12 players from our youth academy, we're very proud of that fact. I believe we corrected some things we did wrong in the Cup [Copa del Rey] final. We're now 90 minutes from the Champions League final and we will try everything to get there."

The Barcelona tactician received plenty of attention in the build up to the game after publicly criticising opposite number Mourinho in his pre-match press conference.

Madrid's coach predictably had opinions on the game after his side's 2-0 defeat, ranting about the referee and Barcelona yet Guardiola simply replied: "I have nothing to say."

Barcelona travel to the Basque region this weekend to play Real Sociedad before entertaining Madrid in the second-leg of their Champions League semi-final next Tuesday.

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