Luis Enrique has admitted that he took off Neymar during Barcelona's 3-2 win at Atletico Madrid because 'the match turned ugly'.
The Brazilian match-winner was replaced by Pedro with 13 minutes left on the clock, but the Coach claimed that the highly-charged nature of the game's climax meant he could no longer risk the forward.
"My team clearly overcame the difficulties of the pitch. We specialise on pitches where the ball bounces like a rabbit," he said after the match.
"He's always had his attitude. He's very confident and gives us a lot in attack and defence.
"His style of playing is twisting and turning, and he had an outstanding performance.
"I only know that Gabi was sent off, but I don't know exactly what happened.
"[Atleti] are an incredible team. [Diego] Simeone's doing a great job with Simeone, winning titles so spectacularly. This time around, we took advantage of our good form.
"We had a lot of possession because our opponents were a man short.
"We expected a game like that, but it was difficult to counter this team, and more so after what happened in the first minute.
"[Neymar] came off at a time when the match turned ugly, and we didn't want [the match] to get more heated.
"Professionals should be smart and know that they are fellow sportsmen."