Pique inspiring Barca

– Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez might be the deadliest attack in Europe but Barcelona’s success in the Champions League football could rest on their increasingly mean defence.

After their 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Wednesday, Gerard Pique said Barca are tighter at the back than they have been all season.

“We put in an excellent performance defensively, we’re in our best form in defence of the season,” Pique said.
“The early goal relaxed us and we knew how to cope with the situation, the fact we didn’t concede helps us a lot.”
Barcelona face a trip to Spanish La Liga’s bottom-club Huesca today, when Ernesto Valverde is likely to rotate his line-up ahead of the return leg against United three days later.

An 11-point lead at the top of the table has earned Barca that luxury, while United face West Ham the same afternoon, still scrapping for a place in the English Premier League’s top four.
To turn the tie around, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team will have to score at least once at Camp Nou, where their opponents have endured only one defeat in 52 matches and, in the Champions League, one in 10 years.

Spanish La Liga Fixtures

Today: Espanyol v Deportivo Alavés (1pm); Huesca v Barcelona (4:15pm); Atlético Madrid v Celta de Vigo (6:30pm); Sevilla v Real Betis (8:45pm).

Tomorrow: Real Valladolid v Getafe (12noon); Athletic Club v Rayo Vallecano (2pm); Real Sociedad v Eibar (4:15pm); Girona v Villareal (6:30pm); Valencia v Levante (8:45pm).
Monday: Leganés v Real Madrid (9pm).

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