Lionel Messi had blood in his mouth after a clash with Madrid defender Sergio Ramos during Saturday’s El Clasico match, claims Gerard Pique.
Messi and Ramos were involved in a flashpoint in the first half of Barcelona’s 1-0 win at the Bernabeu that moved them 10 points clear at the top of the La Liga table.
Ramos knocked the ball past Messi but then seemed to put his arm into the face of the Barca captain, who made his anger clear to the officials, although Madrid’s captain was not punished.
Former Madrid manager Jose Mourinho used an appearance as a pundit on beIN Sports to claim Ramos had deliberately hit Messi.
Ramos denied that was the case after the game but Pique was clear on who was to blame over the incident.
“Leo had blood in his mouth,” said Pique. “It was an aggression.
“Intensity does not have to be measured. I get along great with the Real Madrid players.
“But when you go out to the field you defend your colours and the rivalry is what you get.
“But once the game is over, the cordiality is mutual, the players respect us very much.”
Barca also won at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, their 3-0 victory against Madrid booking a place in the final of the Copa del Rey for the sixth consecutive year.
Valverde’s men also made history by becoming the first team to win three consecutive away matches against Madrid.
The Barca manager insists the title race is not over, with Atletico Madrid having an opportunity to move back within seven points of the leaders at Real Sociedad.
But Pique believes Barcelona are well on track to defend their La Liga crown after another victory at the Bernabeu.
“I have lived these games since I was a child,” added Pique. “I know how hard it is to win here, we knew how to suffer when we had to do it and we took advantage of our chance.
“I think we played better than the other day, even if the result is closer. It’s a boost for the league, it gives us a certain tranquility in the face of the next matches.”