Barcelona's Pique claims red card against Sporting Gijon was 'premeditated' by the match official

The Blaugrana stopper has cried foul play after asserting his sending-off was preplanned by referee Carlos Velasco Carballo, but also underlined the importance of their victory
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has claimed his red card during the 3-1 win over Sporting Gijon on Saturday in La Liga was "premeditated" by the match referee.

The former Manchester United man revealed he spoke to Carlos Velasco Carballo during half-time to express his frustration at the decision not to award Seydou Keita a penalty following a push by Alberto Botia, and is adamant the exchange lead to his eventual downfall in the encounter.

"At half-time I told the referee it was a penalty on Keita and he kept that [in his head], I have a feeling of premeditation," said Pique after the match.

However, despite his bitterness, Pique was delighted to see Barca hang onto the win in his absence, as goals from Andres Iniesta, Keita and Xavi were enough to ensure the champions kept all three points at Camp Nou.

"These were three very important points. We keep on pushing forward until we overcome the opposition," he concluded.

Barcelona cut Real Madrid's lead at the Primera Division summit to to seven points following their win.

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