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Pique defends celebration after 'special' goal

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

BARCELONA - Gerard Pique said shushing Espanyol fans with a finger to his lips after scoring was the least he could have done while celebrating the goal which earned Barcelona a 1-1 draw in La Liga yesterday.

The defender headed home Lionel Messi's free kick in the 82nd minute to preserve the league leaders' 22-game unbeaten run, a club record, tying a spiky derby clash at the waterlogged RCDE Stadium in Cornella.

Pique had been berated throughout by Espanyol fans for his comments after Barcelona eliminated their local rivals in the King's Cup quarter-finals in January.

A long-time hate figure for Espanyol supporters, Pique stoked the fire by referring to them as 'Espanyol de Cornella' multiple times.

Espanyol moved to their new stadium in the town near Barcelona in 2009 after previously playing at the Olympic Stadium in Catalonia's capital.

"They are from Cornella, like I said the other day. I know it hurt them and I used sarcasm to annoy them.

"Saying they play in Cornella is not disrespectful, it's a fact. They complain about that and report me, but they don't investigate insults towards my family. That is disrespectful. Telling them to be quiet was the least I could do."

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