Sergio Ramos responds after Gerard Pique says Real Madrid side in El Clasico was the worst he’s ever faced
Real Madrid center-half Sergio Ramos has responded to Gerard Pique’s claim that Los Blancos side in El Clasico was the worst he’s ever faced at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
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The 32-year-old Barcelona defender was unimpressed with the quality of his opponents during his side’s 2-0 defeat on Sunday evening.
Igniting an old-feud between two of the most successful defenders in Spanish football’s history, Real Madrid center-back Sergio Ramos blasted his Barcelona counterpart Gerard Pique over claims that Los Blancos side that appeared in Sunday’s El Clasico was the worst the latter has ever faced at the Bernabeu.
Pique was at fault for Real’s opener in the 2nd half as the Vinicius Jr. strike that beat Marc Andre Ter Stegen on his near post had taken a deflect off of the boot of the sliding Catalan who had dived full-length in an attempt to close the angle and stop the 19-year-old from opening the scoring.
Sunday’s victory means Real, who came into the game 2-points behind the Catalan side, have leapfrogged the reigning La Liga champions. Also, it ensured that provided both the teams finish the league level on points come the end of May, the better head-to-head record of Real would hand them the trophy.
Their last weekend’s defeat to Levante meant that the home side had no room for error on Sunday as a defeat would have sent them 5-points behind Quique Setien’s team. Still, they weren’t at their best in the first half, giving Pique the ammunition to criticize the quality of Zidane’s men.Speaking after the game, the outspoken defender claimed that Los Blancos side in the first half was the worst Madrid he’s ever faced at the Bernabeu.
“Real Madrid in the first half was the worst Madrid I've faced at the Bernabeu,” Pique said, via Goal.
“We missed a chance to hurt them. We have to play better than in the second half, though, we lost balls, and they grew in confidence.
Ramos was unfazed by this criticism as he immediately hit back at Pique: “”Everyone's opinion is respectable,” the defender told reporters.
“I sign up to win all Clasicos by making a first half as bad as he says. The approach was different. In the first half, we left the ball, and in the second we decided to go. They were not so fresh, and we started to generate chances.”Given that Barca had come into El Clasico with a far superior recent form, their poor display and the resulting defeat means that the race for the La Liga title is far from over.
That’s mainly because Real, who now have a lead to protect, showed problems of their own at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday. Zidane’s side should have been behind after a poor first-half which saw Barca waste several excellent openings in front of the home side’s goal.
Even when they had the lead, the home side looked far from assured as the 28-year-old Martin Braithwaite regularly got the better of Marcelo after he was sent on during the late stages of the 2nd half to try and salvage a draw that would have kept Barca at the summit.
The Catalan outfit, meanwhile, had to endure a rare off-day from Lionel Messi. The Argentine simply looked short of fitness as he was repeatedly dispossessed off the ball by the likes of Casemiro and allowed the 2nd choice Real left-back Marcelo to outrun him in one-on-one situations.
That means that while Barcelona’s troubles were laid thread-bare due to defeat, the difficulties Madrid faced during the game were there for all to see as well. For this reason, nobody can predict with full assurance the shape the league table would be presenting at the end of the season