Thursday, 24 May, 2018

Barcelona: Valverde only one point away from Guardiola's record

Barca resume Espanyol rivalry Ousmane Dembele back in Barcelona training but will miss Espanyol derby
| 06 February, 2018, 15:41

Barcelona extended their unbeaten run in the ongoing La Liga season to 22 matches with a 1-1 draw against Espanyol, which is now a record for the club.

Atletico Madrid beat Valencia 1-0 to cut Barca's lead to nine points.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez curled a free-kick narrowly over, although Espanyol thought they had scored in the first minute of the second half when the ball had gone out before Baptistao cut back for Esteban Granero to convert.

"We will try to take good care of him as we did when he recovered from the previous injury".

He is a human being like the rest of us, and he admitted it was a deliberate act after the game, saying "It was the minimum I could've done".

The 31-year-old maintains he was purely stating a geographical fact, and has fired back, bemoaning Espanyol's inability to react to insults aimed at him and his family during recent clashes between the sides. "There is a limit to everything". "I don't know the exact gesture that Pique made".

"Complaints are part of the rivalry".

There were shoves and heated discussions throughout the match, which was played under steady rain and on a heavy pitch.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique is poised to miss the King's Cup semi-final second leg against Valencia after suffering a knee injury, Spanish media reported on Monday. Barcelona eventually eliminated Espanyol by winning the second leg 2-0.


Carlos Sanchez could be set for a debut in central midfield for the Espanyol after signing on deadline day.

Garcia was perhaps fortunate to only see yellow for a wild lunge on Samuel Umtiti and, as Barca cranked up the pressure, Espanyol finally cracked when Pique thumped in a header to rub further salt into Espanyol's wounds. The high on intensity game saw the players from both the teams tussle hard for the points but it remained even until the end.

Pique, whistled throughout the contest, signalled for the home fans to be quiet and he was subsequently involved in an altercation with Moreno in the closing stages as the defender revelled in his role as the pantomime villain.

There were also discussions in the tunnel to the changing rooms.

And the Spaniard would have been proud of his goal, with Pique beaten by Garcia's cross following the Barcelona player's comments on Espanyol.

This season, above any other in his career, Gerard Pique has had to deal with the brunt of opposition supporter terrace ire.

Moreno told reporters ahead of the match: "The Pique topic does not interest me, I'm interested in the team and the fans being united".

Sunday kicked off with a 0-0 draw in the 'South Madrid derby between Getafe and Leganes in a snowy Alfonso Perez Coliseum.

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