Pique fiercely critical of Barca after draw at Real Sociedad
By Richard Martin
BARCELONA (Reuters) - Gerard Pique gave a scathing assessment of Barcelona's display after the champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Real Sociedad on Sunday and cast doubt on his team's ability to retain the La Liga title unless their performances improve.
A brilliant strike by Barca talisman Lionel Messi promptly cancelled out Willian Jose's opener in the second half at Anoeta but defender Pique said his team were fortunate to leave San Sebastian, where they have not won since 2007, with a point.
Barca slipped a further two points behind Real Madrid following last week's goalless draw with Malaga and are now six behind their arch rivals before next week's 'Clasico' at the Nou Camp.
"It's not often I can say this as a Barca player but we have to be pleased with the draw. Sometimes you can win a game while losing your style of play but when you don't have the right attitude it's more worrying," Pique told Movistar Plus.
Real Sociedad striker Juanmi had a goal wrongly ruled out for offside which would have made it 2-1 to the home side, while Carlos Vela hit the post late on and Esteban Granero also missed a glorious chance to win the game.
"Almost nothing went right for us today," added Pique. "They outdid us in the quality of their play and in attitude. We barely existed in the first half and improved a bit in the second but it's difficult to win the league playing like this."
Pique picked up a knock to his ankle in the first half but continued to play and said he would be fit to face Real Madrid.
The Spain international, often a staunch defender of his club and a critic of Real, also said Zinedine Zidane's side were a better team than Barca at the moment.
"We're playing against a great team, the best in the league and that's why they are where they are now. It's a vital game and I know the fans will respond."
Barca coach Luis Enrique admitted it was the worst display he had seen since taking charge of the club in 2014.
"This is the first time I've seen a team walk all over us since I became coach but it's excessive to say the league is lost after week 13," he said.
"We have to start to improve. This is the worst game of our time here but I'm sure we'll see a different Barca in the Clasico."
(Editing by Clare Fallon)