Hibernian manager John Hughes and his Rangers counterpart Walter Smith felt the incident that created two red cards was blown out of proportion.
Kyle Lafferty's poor challenge on Hibs' Liam Miller was followed by Kevin McBride thumping Lafferty with the ball, which produced an angry reaction.
"I didn't think there was that much in the incident," said Smith.
And the Hibs boss added: "I don't think Lafferty's was a sending-off and McBride's wasn't a sending-off."
In a match Rangers won 3-0 thanks to a Kenny Miller hat-trick, Lafferty got to his feet after his tackle on Miller and being slammed by a hard shot from McBride.
He then clashed with McBride before players from both sides rushed to intervene.
What do you want? For us all to run about with slippers on every week?
Rangers manager Walter Smith on football's physical nature
Referee Iain Brines gave both players a straight red card.
Smith said of the controversial Northern Irish striker: "There was no challenge, he missed the boy, he stepped over the top of him.
"I think he was sent off for his reaction after the ball was kicked against him.
"I suppose in many ways that's natural but you couldn't blame the referee either. It was unfortunate but these things happen.
"But it was a competitive game, a good game, one we actually needed to kick-start our season.
"What do you want? For us all to run about with slippers on every week?"
Smith, however, did have a warning for his tall forward.
"I suppose this is the best time to get red and yellow cards when they are all fit but we don't want him to get sent off at any time of the season," said the veteran Ibrox manager.
"Kyle has had a couple of things happen to him now and he is going to have to adjust and discipline himself a little better than he has done in the past.
"That's what he's got to watch more than anything else but you've also got to look at the situation where the ball was blasted right at him."
Lafferty was punished last year for feigning a head-butt, which resulted in a red card for Charlie Mulgrew when the defender was at Aberdeen.
Hughes, meanwhile, while saying both players should have remained on the pitch, felt McBride in particular was dealt with too severely by Brines.
Referee Brines books Riordan and McGregor in the encounter at Easter Road
"It's a little bit disappointing the players got involved but if he wants to pick out McBride for his part, he actually got rag-dolled more than being the aggressor," he argued.
And the Easter Road manager suggested Brines changed his mind over why he sent his player off.
"I asked him at half-time and he said it was for running into him and barging him and that's not the case," he said.
"When I went in to speak to him after the match he said it was because he kicked the ball at him so that's a little disappointing.
"It still doesn't merit a red card. But that's football."
Hughes also brushed aside another incident in the game, where Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor fell to the ground clutching his head when there was no contact from Hibs striker Derek Riordan as the pair stood toe to toe.
"Derek and Allan are the best of mates," said Hughes.
"That's football, it's an emotional game, there are plenty of incidents and we talk about them. That's why we all love it."
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