Referees must protect Barcelona, says Pique

The Spain international believes officials should be more proactive on the pitch while admitting that his side must look to improve their form
Gerard Pique has urged referees to give Barcelona players more protection from rough treatment at the hands of their opponents.

The Blaugrana were given a soft penalty in Wednesday's scoreless Supercopa de Espana draw against Atletico Madrid, while Atleti were reduced to 10 men after Filipe Luis lashed out at Dani Alves in the second half, but Pique was far from happy with David Fernandez' performance.

"The referees have to take action. They are very permissive," the defender was quoted as saying on the official Barca website.

Pique then went on to admit Barcelona had found it tough going in the second leg of the Spanish Supercup tie and called on his side to sharpen their play going forward.

"Atletico made it very difficult for us. We have to improve our ball circulation, we have to be faster. We need to find more space so that we can score," he added.

Barcelona resume league action on Sunday when they lock horns with Valencia.