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Pique's comments and what awaits Barca at Espanyol

Pique's comments and what awaits Barcelona at Espanyol

February 2, 2018 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
Gerard Pique has made himself an unpopular figure among Espanyol fans but what would be the bearing of his actions as his side travels to the other side of town?

First, it was with Real Madrid fans. Now, the agitation is coming from no other faction than that of a fierce local rival. The whole frenzy started when Pique referred to the Parakeets as 'Espanyol de Cornella,' after Barcelona’s Copa triumph in January.

"Yes, of course, Espanyol de Cornella, they're from Cornella right?" Pique asked in a post-match interview.

This was shortly followed by a statement from Espanyol, who sought the Anti-Violence Commission of the Spanish FA to take action based on the player's words.

"We consider that any demonstration in a clearly derogatory tone towards these cities, such as those uttered by Mr. Pique towards the city of Cornella, flirt very dangerously with xenophobic attitudes,” the statement read. 

The hatchet would have possibly been buried had the defender not used the same diction in reference to the Cataluyna team, again.

"Espanyol are in Cornella, that's obvious," said the unapologetic Pique after signing his new Barcelona contract which keeps him at the club until 2022 last month. 

Pique extends his contract to 2022

Retrospectively, Sergio Busquets also allegedly used similar language when his side’s cross-town neighbors won the first leg of the Copa del Rey tie at home.

These actions from the aforementioned Barcelona players have been deemed as grossly unacceptable by the other Catalonia club and its supporters.

While both sides await the verdict of the Spanish FA's Competition Committee, the foreseeable future will be Sunday’s derby hosts making life very uncomfortable for the league leaders in their backyard. 

Pique in a war of words with Espanyol

Despite Barcelona comfortably seating atop the table in La Liga, their impressive unbeaten run this season could be halted at the RCD Stadium with Espanyol seeking a revenge for the Copa del Rey exit as well as Pique’s comments.

Their fans will undoubtedly be the 12th man, and the inevitable jeers and boos will reverberate all over the grounds. A win will be a morale booster for the 15th-placed side but the club will count on their aficionados to cook up a really hostile atmosphere for their bitter rivals in this particular clash as they seek to climb up.

History may be in Barcelona's favor but will they override Espanyol’s taunts on Sunday in what has been dubbed a high-risk encounter?

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