Barcelona defender Gerard Pique was spotted haranguing his team-mates after Memphis Depay had put the Catalans into a 2-1 lead over Villarreal with just two minutes left for play at El Madrigal on Saturday, November 28.
The Dutchman’s goal set the visitors on course for a first away win of the 2021-22 La Liga season and came against the run of play and at a time when the Yellow Submarine had looked the more dangerous team.
After the goal went in Pique had some brutal instructions for his team-mates to see out the game, as reported by Javier Miguel at Diario AS. He was heard shouting, “Guys, head, more than ever head. Easy, eh. Play with time, no rush. Fouls, we throw ourselves to the ground, everything, eh everything, eh. Easy, we cannot lose these three points, lads.”
Barcelona went on to score again in stoppage time when substitute Philippe Coutinho won a penalty and duly converted the spot-kick. The win continues Xavi’s unbeaten run as Barca boss and makes it back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
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Memphis Says Goal Will Give Him Confidence
Memphis had missed two clear chances earlier in the game but made amends with a superb goal. The Dutchman showed great composure to round goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and slot through the covering defender’s legs on the goalline, as shown by ESPN.
The forward has now scored eight times in La Liga this season and has also found the back of the net in each of his last four league outings. Memphis spoke after the game about how the goal would give him confidence, as shown by Barca TV.
“Obviously I’m happy about it because we needed this victory. We started very good but to take away the three points and obviously to score I’m very happy because I’ve been working on it,” he said. “I know I can do better in certain spaces, so to find the goal, gives me confidence and also gives the team confidence. That’s why I’m here.”
Villarreal Angry At Pique ‘Handball’
Meanwhile, Pique also attracted attention after appearing to handle the ball in the area, although no penalty was awarded to Villarreal. Coach Unai Emery made his feelings clear about the incident after the match, as reported by Marca.
“It’s incomprehensible that it wasn’t given,” he said. “The referee might not see it, but that’s why VAR exists, it’s a clear handball that I don’t know whether it was deliberate or not, but the ball is heading towards goal and he stops it with his hand, so it should have been a penalty.”
Yet it wasn’t the only controversial incident in an action-packed game. Barcelona captain Sergio Busquets was the victim of a poor challenge from Dani Parejo in the opening minutes that did not even result in a booking, as shown by reporter Shay Lugassi.
Tempers also flared at full-time between the two benches. Xavi clashed with Villarreal coaches on the touchline and in the tunnel but played down the incident as “things that happen” after the win.