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'The last time they had an extra day's rest we beat them 5-1!' – Pique dismisses Solari fixture complaints

  • September 28, 2019
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The Real Madrid manager got no sympathy from the Barca defender over his complaint at La Liga’s fixture scheduling

Gerard Pique questioned Santiago Solari complaints about the fixture schedule after the Real Madrid coach asked why Barcelona will have an extra day to prepare for Wednesday’s Clasico, noting extra rest did not help Los Blancos when the clubs clashed in October.

The two La Liga giants meet in the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final in midweek, with the tie level at 1-1 after the first game at Camp Nou.

Yet that contest will come just three days on from Madrid’s visit to Levante, while Barca have a four-day gap following their 4-2 victory at Sevilla on Saturday.

Solari called the decision to give one club more rest than the other “curious” at his pre-match media conference, but Pique suggested the shorter gap may actually benefit Madrid, after an extra day of rest in October saw them hammered 5-1 by Barcelona in a match that cost then-Blancos manager Julen Lopetegui his job.

“The last time they had an extra day’s rest we beat them 5-1!” Pique said after his team’s 4-2 win over Sevilla.

Likewise, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde downplayed the situation, saying that while these things can have an effect, it is also something that every club must deal with from time to time. 

“Look, anyone can complain about the calendar,” Valverde said. “Sevilla played on Wednesday and today [Saturday].

“It depends on the club that’s talking about it [the schedule], it can become more of an issue, but this happens to us all.

“If it happens, it happens.”

Wednesday’s clash is the first of two games in four days between the fierce rivals at the Santiago Bernabeu as the clubs then to meet in La Liga the following Saturday. 

And despite having a 12-point advantage over their Clasico rivals in the Liga table, Pique expects both matches to be tough for Barca.

“We’re desperate to reach the cup final, so first of all we’ve got to focus on that,” he said.

“After that our aim will be to send out a statement at the top of the table.”

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