Gerard Pique: Why I'm not bothered by Barcelona defeat to Deportivo
- Author: Regina Holmes Mar 13, 2017,
Mar 13, 2017, 1:01
We didn't have the necessary fluency to overcome [Deportivo's] style but we were growing and ended up making mistakes.
In the 56th minute Inaki Williams took advantage of an underhit backpass by Alvaro Odriozola to double Athletic's advantage and secure all three points.
Luis Suarez equalised for Barcelona a minute into the second half but Deportivo had the last laugh with Alejandro Bergantinos scoring the victor in the 74th minute. I foresee it every week, and after Wednesday, even more so.
But Deportivo looked prepared for the challenge they knew would be meeting them at the Riazor, with midfielders Celso Borges and Bergantinos set up to prevent their counterparts from building in the final third.
Cristiano Ronaldo ensured Madrid went in level at the break as he rose unmarked to power home Marcelo's cross from close range for his 26th goal of the season.
Luis Enrique's men lost 2-1 at the Riazor on Sunday, four days after stunning the football world by recording the biggest comeback in Champions League history against PSG.
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Two-goal hero in midweek Neymar was one of five changes to the Barca side due to an abductor injury.
"Now we have to think that we still have matches against our rivals for the title to come", said Enrique.
Barca headed into the interval one goal down, but responded only 90 seconds after the restart.
Luis Enrique sent on Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta for Arda Turan and Andre Gomes in an attempt to seal victory, but the home side threatened again when Joselu's impressive volley tested Ter Stegen after Bruno Gama had led a fast break.
But Barca found it hard to create clear-cut chances against the mass ranks of Deportivo defence, whilst the hosts were always a threat on the break.
This time Bergantinos got above Jordi Alba to head into the bottom corner at the far post. When you give them a chance, they don't forgive you.