Pique reveals the real reason he was taken off in Barça's Sevilla win

Pique reveals the real reason he was taken off in Barça's Sevilla win

The defender set alarm bells ringing when he was substituted but he says he's OK

Gerard Pique calmed down Barcelona supporters after the game against Sevilla. The defender clarified that his substitution for Ronald Araujo was not because of an injury, but a plan put in place with the coach, Ronald Koeman. He was speaking to Movistar. 

"I spoke with the coach to manage my return little by little," he said. "It's been three months without playing and training very little, so to play so often wasn't expected. We had a pact to play until that minute, although it also depended on the result. I am happy to participate and help the team." 

Pique added that he feels "really proud" of the team's performance in Seville, where they won 2-0. "Credit where it's due. Coming from PSG and Cadiz, two big blows, the team has picked itself up. The first half against Elche wasn't good but we improved. There's the talent to compete. The season is long and on Wednesday (in Copa del Rey semifinal second leg against Sevilla) we're going to compete." 

The win at the Sanchez Pizjuan moved Barça to within two points of leaders Atletico Madrid, although Diego Simeone's side have two games in hand, starting with Villarreal on Sunday. 

"The league's on," Pique said. "Until it's mathematically impossible, it's on. Worse things have been seen. In two games, we weren't up to scratch, but in we can have confidence with what this team's done in 2021. A team like Sevilla, at home, have not created any chances. We dominated for 90 minutes, pressing high, playing in their half. It's not the ideal situation, but we have confidence in the team."