So did Real Madrid soften up Barcelona for great rivals Atlético Madrid by winning at the Camp Nou on Saturday or reawaken the beast? Gerard Piqué is unequivocal.
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Barcelona's 39-match unbeaten run was ended by Real Madrid on Saturday, and some reckon the Merengues have done city rivals Atlético a favour by softening them up ahead of Tuesday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg. It is safe to say that Gerard Piqué believes otherwise. This is what the Barça defender had to say in Monday's press conference ...
We will try to decide the tie in the first leg, especially after what happened on Saturday. We will do the best we can and score as many goals as possible.
It is always a challenge after a loss. We want to play again quickly, especially against a rival like Atlético. We want to prove that we are still the team that has won everything. We want to win it all again.
In terms of morale, Saturday's defeat was a defeat like any other. We hadn't lost for 39 games, but sometimes this happens in football. We are ready again and have a unique opportunity to set the bar high again.
Until the 70th minute we controlled the game against Real Madrid. When I watched the match again, I saw how we dominated most of the game. Saturday's match is already forgotten, though. What I think about is winning the league and we are convinced we will.
Atlético have had a spectacular season, so it's going be more complicated than Saturday. They know how to defend and are really good on the counter. It all boils down to how we play. We want the ball, to pass it around quickly. And we want the fans to support us as they did on Saturday. If they do that, we will be unstoppable.
We don't need to be warned about the size of our task. Year after year we have seen that this is a very difficult competition but we are going to try to win the treble again. It's a brutal challenge but we will give all we have to do it again.