Gerard Pique Eases Barcelona Concerns After Tests Reveal Knee Injury Is Not as Bad as First Feared

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has eased fears he could be set for a month on the sidelines, after tests revealed his knee injury is not as bad as first feared.

The 31-year-old netted ?Barca’s dramatic late equaliser against Espanyol on Sunday but sustained a knock during the second half of a fiery Catalan derby.

As reported by?? ?ESPN, the Spaniard underwent medical tests at the club’s training ground on Monday to determine the extent of the injury sustained at Cornella-El Prat. The results show his injury is not as bad as first feared, with Pique now expected to only miss a couple of weeks of action.

Should the diagnosis of Pique’s injury prove accurate, the centre-back will be ruled out of Thursday’s second leg Copa del Rey tie at the Mestalla, as well as the subsequent league games against Getafe and Eibar.

He could return to full fitness just in time to face ?Chelsea in the Champions League, with Barcelona travelling to Stamford Bridge for the first leg on 20 February.

With fellow central defender Thomas Vermaelen sidelined and Samuel Umtiti suspended, boss Ernesto Valverde is likely to look towards Colombian defender Yerry Mina for Thursday’s semi-final clash against Valencia. 

Espanyol v Barcelona - La Liga

(You may also be interested in Barcelona Planning Part-Exchange Deal to Sign Atletico Madrid Striker Antoine Griezmann)

The 23-year old joined Barca during the January transfer window from Brazilian side Palmeiras for a fee close to €12m, though the defender is yet to make his debut. 

Barca head into the second leg holding a slender 1-0 advantage, with Luis Suarez’s goal at the Nou Camp the difference between the two sides.


Espanyol Attacker Sergio Garcia Take to Instagram to Deny Umtiti Racism Claims

RC Espanyol attacker Sergio Garcia has defended himself against claims that he racially abused Barcelona centre-back Samuel Umtiti during the  two clubs’ 1-1 draw at the weekend.

Garcia came on as a substitute towards the end of the match, and reports in Spain claim that the Espanyol striker threw a racial slur at Umtiti as tempers began to flare as the game drew to a close.

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Garcia took to social media to respond to the allegations:

?“First of all to clarify that I already spoke with Samuel yesterday. In no way were my intentions racist!” He wrote on Instagram, as per Sky Sports.

“You all know that my wife is of gypsy ethnicity and that I grew up in a neighbourhood with all the races in the world.

“My brother-in-law, with whom I have a strong friendship, is also African-American.

“Many things are said in the heat of a game which should stay on the pitch. Forca Espanyol!”

Barcelona v Espanyol - Spanish Copa del Rey

The reports in Spain suggest that the slur carried over into the tunnel after the final whistle had blown, with Umtiti angry at Garcia for what he had said.

It took for Gerard Pique – Barcelona’s goalscorer and defender who could be seen shushing the Espanyol fans – to break up the fight.

After the game, Garcia is believed to have gone over to the Barcelona dressing room and apologised to the French defender – and considered the matter solved.

The draw leaves Espanyol 15th in La Liga, with Barcelona continuing their reign over the Spanish league table – yet to lose a match this season.

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Barcelona Face Selection Headache With Gerard Pique Out for a Month Through Injury

?Gerard Piqué could face up to a month in the Barcelona treatment room after suffering a knock during their clash with local rivals Espanyol.

The 31-year-old scored the equalising goal for Barcelona at the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat and celebrated by gesturing to the home fans, who were angry at Piqué’s recent comments about Espanyol, that they should be quiet after dishing out abuse throughout the match.

Spanish outlet AS claim that Piqué has been undergoing tests at the Ciutat Esportiva (Barcelona’s training ground) to determine the extent of his injury – with early indications suggesting he might not return until March.

Coupled with the absences of former Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen, this latest defensive injury could see the first chance Yerry Mina, a January signing from Brazilian side Palmeiras, has in the Barcelona first-team.

The 23-year-old has an outstanding record of three goals in nine appearances for the Colombian national team, most recently captaining Los Cafeteros alongside Tottenham star Davinson Sánchez in a 4-0 victory over China.

Although Mina’s inclusion in Ernesto Valverde’s Champions League squad could still be up for debate, the Colombian should be drafted in for Barcelona’s upcoming La Liga match against Getafe as Samuel Umtiti is suspended.

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Ousmane Dembele Drops Major Hint That Antoine Griezmann is Going to Be a Barcelona Player

French forward Ousmane Dembele reportedly claimed he knows which player is moving closer every day to joining him at  Barcelona, according to donbalon.

The transfer of Antoine Griezmann from  Atletico Madrid to Barcelona is apparently 90% done and Barcelona star Dembele is already welcoming his fellow French international into the team. The 20-year-old has a close friendship with Griezmann and has told his teammates that they will be playing alongside the Atletico star next season. 


Barcelona are expected to have to pay £88.2million to get their man in the summer and the 26-year-old is confident that the transfer will go through as he is reportedly already looking for a house in Barcelona.

Griezmann has scored seven goals in 19 appearances so far in La Liga this season, however, tensions are building between the player and the Atletico fans. 


Goal reported that, in Atletico’s game against Valencia on Sunday, “The attacker was met with whistles and jeers from the home side and did not take too kindly to the reaction. 

“Griezmann immediately looked up at the fans, kicked the ball away and remonstrated with those jeering him.”

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Espanyol 1-1 Barcelona: Late Gerard Pique Header Writes Ernesto Valverde into Barca History Books

Barcelona were able to maintain their unbeaten La Liga run and set a new club record in the process following their 1-1 Catalan Derby draw with Espanyol on Sunday afternoon. 

Following a fairly mellow first-half, the contest sparked into life in the second, with Gerard Moreno opening the scoring for the hosts via a bullet header shortly after the hour mark, before Gerard Pique responded in kind with less than 10 minutes to secure a share of the spoils. 

The result, which allowed the Blaugrana to record their 22nd league clash without tasting defeat, surpassed the previous club milestone held by Pep Guardiola’s squad of 21 Premier Division games undefeated, allowing Ernesto Valverde to write himself into the Camp Nou history books after less than a full season in charge.

Surprisingly, given the rivalry, it was a slightly laborious opening from both sides during the early exchanges inside the supporter spattered Estadi Cornellà-El Prat, with the biblical rainfall onto the heavy surface taking its toll on the fluency of the contest. 

However, despite struggling to orchestrate their way through the heavily rotated Espanyol backline during the opening quarter, record-signing Philippe Coutinho was able to offer those in attendance a glimpse of his capabilities by rattling the underside of the crossbar from range after finding a pocket of space on the edge of the area and bending his attempt towards Diego Lopez’s goal. 

Following the Brazilian’s pot-shot, play returned back to its former absent-tempoed self, but, in spite of their dormant opening 25 minutes, it was a Periquitos attack which forced the first meaningful save of the contest. 

Winger Leo Baptistao was afforded space after skipping past the backtracking Andres Iniesta midway inside the Barcelona half before advancing momentarily and unleashing a stinging attempt from range, which was eventually gobbled up by Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the second attempt following a strong palm to the floor. 

After the German’s fairly comfortable stop, aside from a Luis Suarez free-kick which skimmed the roof of the net on its way behind, there was little of note in the final 20 minutes of the first-half, with both sides heading into their respective dressing rooms with the scores equal. 

However, despite the rather damp, in every sense of the word, opening 45, the second started in flamboyant fashion, as with just 45 seconds on the clock Espanyol had the ball in the back of the net. 

Baptistao found himself bearing down on goal after being slipped in behind the Blaugrana defence by Esteban Granero, with the 25-year-old then rounding Ter Stegen and setting up his supplier who slammed home from inside the area, only to be greeted by the linesman’s flag after the official spotted the ball had left the field of play as the Brazilian attacker evaded his German counterpart. 


But following another lull in the contest caused by the treacherous conditions, the hosts took advantage of their short spell of dominance and broke the deadlock courtesy of Gerard, who had celebrated recording his 100th appearance for the Blanquiazules pre kick-off. 

Sergio Garcia picked up possession on the right-hand side following a sloppy clearance from Ter Stegen before delivering an inch-perfect delivery into the area, which evaded the acrobatics of Gerard Pique, before finding the head of the 25-year-old striker, whose attempt had just enough pace to beat the German custodian’s efforts and put his side ahead. 

However, after taking the lead, Espanyol seemed to find comfort in dropping deeper and deeper, and with less than 10 minutes to go their over-defensive tactics, coupled with the introduction of substitute Lionel Messi, proved pivotal. 

The afternoon’s pantomime villain, Pique, who had been on the receiving end of a constant barrage of abuse from the home supporters following the defender’s comments earlier in the week, was able to latch his head onto a fizzing free-kick from the Argentine super-sub and nod home to further decrease his popularity inside the Estadi Cornellà-El Prat and level the scores. 

After the Spain international had pulled his side back level, both sides had chances in the final moments to seal the win, however, neither were able to capitalise, leaving Blaugrana still some way out in front in the title chase as they continue their hunt for the ‘invincible’ season. 




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