Gerard Pique was happy to discuss Barcelona’s title hopes after Sunday’s 3-2 win over Valencia at Mestalla. The visitors bounced back from a shock defeat to Granada to take all three points and keep their title hopes alive.
Next up is another important game with La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid the visitors to the Camp Nou on Saturday. Barca can move above the Rojiblancos in the table with a win, and Pique is only thinking about victory, as reported by Marca.
“The only idea to play against Atlético is to win. You have to beat them and then hope. Then there is Madrid-Sevilla,” he said. “From what we’ve seen this season you can’t be sure whoever comes out of next weekend’s round of fixtures will be champions. Even if we come out next weekend as leaders I still wouldn’t say it’s all over.”
Barca also needs defending champions Real Madrid to drop points to win La Liga. Los Blancos have a busy week with a Champions League semi-final second leg up next on Tuesday against Chelsea before a trip to fourth-placed Sevilla on Sunday.
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Pique Plays Down Injury Fears
Pique also played down fresh injury fears after the match. The defender has missed a large chunk of the season because of knee problems and looked in pain in the warm-up and during the second half.
However, the 34-year-old insisted after the final whistle that his knee was “fine” and that he was only suffering from “small annoyances.” The defender also spoke about how difficult Valencia had made life for Barcelona at Mestalla.
“We knew we wouldn’t have quiet games. We are still in the fight. Quiet games mean you don’t compete for anything. The goal was to be there at the end of the season,” he said. “It was a game similar to Villarreal, which we dominated. We knew we had to suffer. We suffered today. It’s always difficult at the end of games when there’s only a one-goal margin.”
Lenglet Reacts To Barcelona Win
Barcelona’s defending was in the spotlight again on Sunday with the backline guilty of giving away another poor goal. An unmarked Gabriel Paulista headed into an empty net after goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen appeared to have been blocked off by Thierry Correia.
Lenglet will also feel he could have done better with the goal after appearing to switch off completely and is in the midst of a tough season with Barcelona. However, he did front up to speak to reporters after the game, as reported by Marca.
“We have done what we had to do, win,” he said. “In the last matches every time we have a chance against us it is a goal, we have to be very vigilant. We are going to play all the remaining games as if it’s a final.”
Lenglet was back in the starting XI in place of Samuel Umtiti against Valencia. Pique and Ronald Araujo also started the game, with Oscar Mingueza also dropping out, as coach Ronald Koeman made changes to his backline for Sunday’s match.
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