Pique rejuvenated

Admired around the world over for the last decade as the great entertainers of European football, Spanish La Liga leaders Barcelona have quietly turned into masters of defending in recent weeks, led by steely centre half Gerard Pique.

The Catalans, who hold a seven-point lead over nearest challengers Atletico Madrid heading into today’s game at home to struggling Rayo Vallecano, have kept five clean sheets in their last six games, which bodes well for their title run in. The 32-year-old, who is in his 11th year with Barca since returning to his boyhood club from Manchester United, has been at the forefront of this new found passion for defending.

Along with French defender Clement Lenglet, Pique was the hero of last week’s 1-0 win over Real Madrid which opened up a 12-point gap between Barca and their historic rivals and followed a 3-0 win at Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinals.

Spanish La Liga Fixtures

Today: Deportivo Alavés v Eibar (2pm); Atlético Madrid v Leganés (5:15pm); Barcelona v Rayo Vallecano (7:30pm); Getafe v Huesca (9:45pm).

Tomorrow: Celta de Vigo v Real Betis (1pm); Girona v Valencia (5:15pm); Levante v Villarreal (7:30pm); Sevilla v Real Sociedad (7:30pm); Real Valladolid v Real Madrid (9:45pm).

source:the herald

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