Gerard Pique refuses to blame tiredness after shock defeat for Barcelona

12 March 2017 10:08

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique refused to use tiredness following their midweek heroics as an excuse for Sunday's shock defeat at Deportivo La Coruna, and insisted the Galician side fully deserved the three points.

The reigning champions crashed to only their third LaLiga loss of the season after relegation-battling Depor claimed a 2-1 win over Luis Enrique's men at the Riazor.

The result came four days after Barcelona hit the headlines when they staged one of the greatest comebacks in football history, overturning a 4-0 first-leg deficit against Paris St Germain to progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League 6-5 on aggregate.

Ten of the Barca squad that played in that energy-sapping victory also had minutes against Depor on Sunday, but Pique said fatigue cannot be used as reason for the reverse.

He said in AS: "That's sport. We're not machines. Even though we were favourites for the game, they did very well and there's nothing left but for us to congratulate them.

"They deserved to win. Tiredness was no excuse and we will have these types of weeks in the future where you play every three days."

Visiting forward Luis Suarez netted straight after half-time to cancel out Joselu's first-half opener but, rather than Barcelona pushing on for the victory, it was Depor who claimed the spoils thanks to Alex Bergantinos' header 17 minutes from time.

The result, combined with Real Madrid's win over Real Betis in Sunday's late match, saw treble-chasing Barca knocked back off top spot in LaLiga by Zinedine Zidane's men.

Real are now two points clear of their bitter rivals and also boast a game in hand, but Pique remains bullish about his side's hopes of retaining their title.

The Spain international said: "What happened was what we didn't want to happen, which was to lose. (But) there is still a lot of the season left. We want it all.

"If you'd said on Wednesday that we could get through to the quarter-finals and lose today, I think the answer would have been clear.

"It's a step back, but every team drops points and we're still alive in the championship."

Barcelona coach Enrique echoed the thoughts of his centre-back.

"It wasn't hard to come back to reality. Only someone who has experienced what we did this week knows what it means," he said in his press conference.

"Us professionals know that nobody gives us anything and how hard it is to get the points. There are no easy games. The teams at the bottom are more dangerous as the weeks go by.

"We have to accept it and remember that there are still a lot more games left."

Source: PA