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Piqué blasts Espanyol "roughness"

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 07/01/2016 sportyou
Piqué critica la 'dureza' del Espanyol © Getty Images Piqué critica la 'dureza' del Espanyol

"We've got a good result", Gerard Piqué told reporters after Barça's 4-1 win over Espanyol in the first leg of the Copa del Rey last 16. It was an ill-tempered game, and the centre-back wanted to highlight that, and the way the opponents had played: "In derbies, there is always intensity. They have a way of playing, and they take it right to the limit. Some refs are permissive with that – like Saturday’s [González González in the league fixture], and others, like tonight’s [Martínez Munuera], aren’t" he said to Movistar+.

"Football is played with a ball, you pass it around, you put it in the net" he said in a later interview, and sent a barbed comment to the Espanyol fans, being ironic about their slogan: "they are a marvellous minority, I hope they can at least fill the ground for the return match". He was referring dirctly to the tweet with which Espanyol celebrated the point they had earned from the league fixture, and the low attendances at Cornellà-El Prat.

Espanyol player Abraham responded immediately in the Camp Nou mixed zone: "Piqué should be a bit more respectful to fans of other teams. He's made a mistake in saying that."

Diop: "If we'd wanted, the Barça players would have been stretchered off"

Pape Diop, who ended up being sent off for insulting Luis Suárez - according to the referee's report he had said "I s**t in your w***e mother" - responded to the Barça players who, like Piqué, criticised the rough play of the Blanquiazules. "You can't say we are violent. There was no blood. If we'd wanted, the Barça players would have been stretchered off", the midfielder said on Cadena Ser radio station's 'Carrusel Deportivo' after the defeat. Sergio Busquets replied: "Diop, true to form, off the field the same as he is on it. If with that he wants to have his minute of glory, he's not going to get it."

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