'There is a title race, definitely' - Pique insists Barcelona are still alive after win at Sevilla

Gerard Pique Barcelona 2020-21
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The Catalan giants closed the gap on leaders Atletico with a battling victory at Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique insisted the Liga title race is still wide open after his side narrowed the gap on leaders Atletico Madrid with a 2-0 victory over Sevilla on Saturday.

Lionel Messi scored one and set up the other for Ousmane Dembele as Ronald Koeman’s side moved to within two points of Atletico, albeit having played two games more.

Diego Simeone’s side can restore their five-point advantage with victory at Villarreal on Sunday.

What did Pique say?

Pique hopes Saturday’s win, their second in the space of four days, can act as a springboard for the rest of the season after an inconsistent few weeks.

Koeman’s side were well beaten by Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League and also need to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semi-final next week.

"There's a title race, definitely,” he told reporters. "We've seen much worse things and the team, despite those two games [against Sevilla and PSG], is one to believe in this year.

"Sevilla, at home, didn't have a shot on target nor created clear chances.

"It's not an ideal situation, but I'm confident in the team. Everything is in our head. If we turn it around on Wednesday [against Sevilla], the season changes completely.

"We'd be in the final of the Copa, we're still alive in La Liga”

Injury concerns played down

Pique also played down any concerns of his fitness after he was forced off after 67 minutes.

The 34-year-old insists it was just as a precaution as he looks to ease his way back to full fitness, having only returned to action earlier this month after three months out with a knee injury.

"They're only little things," Pique added. "We've spoken to the boss about building my match load bit by bit.

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"I'm playing more than I expected after so many months out injured. I've been able to train a bit and we'd agreed on a schedule.

"I'm very happy to be able to keep participating and I feel proud of today's game."

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