Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has discussed the spat between Gerard Pique and Antoine Griezmann during Tuesday’s Champions League defeat to Paris Saint-Germain and says he has no problem with the players arguing on the pitch.
Pique was captured yelling at Griezmann during the 4-1 defeat at the Camp Nou in an expletive-filled rant in the first half after a run by PSG striker Kylian Mbappe.
Koeman was asked about the incident in a pre-match press conference on Saturday and said he had no problem with the way Pique expressed himself but called on players continue to communicate after the game to maintain good relations.
For me in a game, there is a lot of emotion so it’s normal that things happen between players. It’s important to communicate, I think that’s good and I think it’s important to react when you are losing.
There’s no time to speak nicely and say please, it’s a moment of a lot of tension, so during a game it’s normal this happens. I have no problem, I like that. But after the game, you must talk and communicate to have a good relationship between everyone. We must make the most out of ourselves to win the game. We mustn’t stay quiet, I don’t like that attitude. I think it’s fine.
Barca’s defeat has left the Catalan giants with a mountain to climb if they are to progress to the quarter-finals ahead of the second leg in Paris on March 10.
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Koeman Talks Pique Fitness
Pique’s appearance against PSG was the defender’s first since he suffered a knee injury against Atletico Madrid back in November. The 34-year-old went straight back into the team for the match but was taken off late on and replaced by Riqui Puig.
Koeman was also asked about Pique’s fitness ahead of Sunday’s match against Cadiz and says the defender is in contention to start again at the Camp Nou.
Gerard is doing well. We did well to let him play 60-70 minutes against PSG. He’s continued to train well, he rested two days, he trained well yesterday and today and he’s available for this weekend.
Pique is in the matchday squad for the visit of Cadiz, although Barca are once again without injured quartet Ansu Fati, Ronald Araujo, Sergi Roberto, and Philippe Coutinho.
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Barca will be eager to take all three points against a Cadiz side struggling at the wrong end of the table. Koeman’s men have won their last seven games in a row in La Liga and will be favorites to take all three points.
Koeman Calls for Barcelona Reaction
There’s no doubt that Barca are in superb form in La Liga but will need to bounce back from Tuesday’s demoralizing Champions League defeat. Koeman called on his side to react to their midweek disappointment by returning to winning ways against Cadiz.
After a defeat, it is always good to have a match afterward to show that we can be better and get a better result. We have a good track record in La Liga and we have to continue. We have a lot of ambition and we have to react.
Cadiz ran out 2-1 winners over Barcelona back in December in La Liga in what was their first win over the Catalan giants since 1991. Álvaro Cervera’s side also picked up a famous win over Real Madrid early in the season after making a fine start to life back in Spain’s top flight.
However, the Andalusian side have struggled in 2021, losing five of eight games in La Liga and winning just once, against Alaves, since the turn of the year.
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