Barcelona’s Gerard Pique hails Javier Mascherano after playing at centre-back against Shakhtar Donetsk

Defender was impressed by Argentine’s performance at the back in 1-0 win over Ukrainian side, while Dani Alves also praises team-mate’s display in unfamiliar position
Barcelona recorded a 1-0 win over Shakhtar Donetsk on Tuesday evening to book their place in the semi-finals of this year's Champions League, and defender Gerard Pique feels that influential midfielder Javier Mascherano was one of the key performers in the victory.

The Argentina international made several important interceptions and produced some tough tackling throughout the match as he filled in at the centre of defence, much to the delight of team-mate Pique, who praised the former Liverpool man for his versatility.

"Mascherano is a very fast and intelligent player. He has the quality to adapt to any position," the 23-year-old was quoted as saying on the club's official website.

Pique wasn't the only player who was impressed with Mascherano's defensive performance in Ukraine, with full-back Dani Alves equally pleased with the the summer signing's display.

"Mascherano was superb at centre-back," commented Alves after Barcelona's victory, which secured a 6-1 aggregate triumph over the Ukrainian outfit.

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