Gerard Pique has labelled this current incarnation of Real Madrid the “worst” he has ever faced at the Bernabeu after Barcelona’s lacklustre 2-0 reversal on Sunday.
Los Blancos triumphed in Chamartin thanks to second-half goals from Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz, which has subsequently taken the capital club above Barca in La Liga.
How El Clasico unfolded: Five things to know…
- Barca and Real met for the latest El Clasico instalment at the Bernabeu on Sunday.
- Real recorded a 2-0 win to leapfrog their traditional rivals to the top of La Liga.
- The reverse fixture at the Camp Nou was an uncharacteristically tame 0-0 draw.
- And that scoreline threatened to spill over on Sunday as both sides entered the interval deadlocked.
- However, Real scored two second-half goals to secure three vital points in what many of the Spanish press were dubbing the ‘Fight for LaLiga’.
In the build-up to match, many were labelling this contest a proverbial six-pointer with just two points separating the rivals at the summit of the Spanish top-flight.
A win for the hosts has taken Zinedine Zidane’s side above Barca, but Pique was unimpressed with the performance of his long-standing adversaries.
“Real Madrid in the first half was the worst Madrid I’ve faced at the Bernabeu,” Pique said. “We missed a chance to hurt them.
“We have to play better than in the second half, though, we lost balls and they grew in confidence.”
When quizzed on whether the loss has been amplified by the current standard of Real, Pique responded: “Yes, they were giving off the worst possible impression and I don’t say it as a criticism. We all have problems in our clubs.
“But I have the feeling that it’s an important missed opportunity [for Barcelona].”
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Pique: La Liga not decided just yet
Defeat for Barca has not only knocked the Catalonians off their perch but could also have serious psychological implications in the forthcoming months.
Bragging rights for Real and a victory despite obvious faults in Zidane’s side could dent Barca’s motivation levels, but Pique insists the title race is far from a foregone conclusion at this stage.
“We still have a margin of improvement and it is enough for us to win La Liga if we do things well until the end of the season — but we have to do them well,” Pique said.
“Whenever you lose [at the Bernabeu], you get hurt. Because of the importance of the game, the points … If we won, it was an important step.
“We have to focus on improving, especially on our second-half performance.”