Enrique plays down Pique yellow

Barcelona boss Luis Enrique denied Gerard Pique’s yellow card against Arsenal was intentional after he ruled himself out of the second leg in three weeks’ time.

Enrique was seen speaking to Pique during Barca’s 2-0 win in the Champions League last-16 first leg, a minute before the defender slid into Danny Welbeck for a booking, which rendered him ineligible for the visit of the Gunners, but the Coach insisted there was no correlation between the two actions.

“The team were at a high level in all phases of the game,” he said after the game.

“We generated play and covered well at the back to. We deserved to win.

“[The ‘MSN’] see things no-else can and have an amazing ability to imagine [moves before they happen].

“We needed to wear [Arsenal] down. Everybody who knows football understands you need a first half like ours to have the second.

“We managed to find space because we were great, both individually and collectively.

“We scored two goals, and it’s a terrific result, but the tie isn’t over. We have to kill it off in the second leg.

“[On possibly changing Sergio Busquets, for us, he’s Superbusquets and an important player.

“He took a knock but told us that he could continue and I didn’t take him off because I didn’t want to spoil his evening.

“[On Pique’s yellow], I don’t know if you saw the incident, but it wasn’t a deliberate [yellow] card in the slightest.

“[On possibly missing the penalty], not that the debate is closed, but there’s simply no debate on this issue because everything is clear.”

Tags Arsenal Gerard Pique Luis Enrique