News Live Scores

‘We must be better on Tuesday’ - Pique urges Barca improvement ahead of Lyon clash

12:32 AM GMT 17/02/2019
Gerard Pique Barcelona Valencia La Liga 07102018
The Spanish side are entering an extremely important part of the season and the defender knows his club must perform better in the coming weeks

Gerard Pique has said Barcelona must be more fluid in the coming weeks after emerging with a 1-0 win in a subpar performance against Real Valladolid.

As usual, the Spanish champions had Lionel Messi to thank after they gained all three points. The Argentine notched his 30th goal of the campaign on Saturday - the 11th season in the row he has achieved such a feat.

The win ensured Barca moved seven points clear at the top of the table, although that tally could be reduced to six should Real Madrid beat Girona on Sunday.

Despite increasing their gap at the league summit, Pique was not happy. 

“We didn't play well," the centre-back admitted after the game. “It was not a good performance. We weren't the Barcelona that we want to be. 

"The only good news is the win, getting back to winning ways, but we have to improve. The sensations aren't good and we must be better on Tuesday If not, things won't go well.” 

Barcelona face a return to Champions League football this week when they travel to Ligue 1 side Lyon, and Pique believes they must raise their standards both domestically and in Europe. 

"We have to be more fluid, that's what's given us so many titles,” he said. “If we don't move the ball quickly, we have possession but we become a weaker team. We know that and other teams know that, so we have to improve.” 

While most had an off night for Barcelona against Valladolid, Pique was one of the few bright lights for the Catalans. 

He helped the Spanish champions keep a clean sheet while also helping at the other end, winning the penalty from which Messi scored the game’s decisive goal. 

Pique is one of Ernesto Valverde’s most trusted players and has not missed a single minute of league football this campaign. Despite that, the Barca manager is not concerned he will face burnout in the latter stages of the campaign 

“He was great [against Valladolid], as he has been [this season]," Valverde said.  

"He's looking good, he can cope with the workload. He doesn't play for Spain anymore so he doesn't have that wear and tear. We're really happy with him."