Spain international and Real Madrid center-back, Sergio Ramos has hit back at criticism from his fellow compatriot Gerard Pique. Real Madrid beat Barcelona 2-0 to return to the top of the La Liga table after Sunday’s El Clasico. Two goals from Vinicius Junior and Mariano saw Real take the lead at the Bernabeu.
But fellow Spain international and Barcelona defender Pique was quoted to have said Real Madrid ’s first-half performance represented ”the worst Madrid” he has played against at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Madrid Captain Ramos, on the other hand, said he wouldn’t mind playing the same way in every El Clasico if it meant they would come out victors against their fierce rivals.
“Everyone’s opinion is respected. I sign up to win all Clasicos by making a first-half as bad as he says. The approach was different. In the first half, we left the ball and in the second we decided to go. They were not so fresh and we started to generate chances” Ramos said during a post-match interview.
With 12 games left to go, the win saw Zinedine Zidane’s side take the lead on the table by a single point. With Barcelona missing out on being five points clear of their rivals, the close gap now means both clubs will have to fight extra hard to make the remaining fixtures turn out in their favor.
Speaking on Barcelona’s defeat, 33-year-old Pique believes the match ended in ”a missed opportunity” for his side. This will be the Catalan giant’s first Clasico league defeat since April 2016.
Speaking on his side’s rivals tactics Pique said, ”Madrid in the first half was the worst Madrid I’ve faced at the Bernabeu. We missed a chance to hurt them.”
“We have to play better than in the second half, though. We lost balls and they grew in confidence. The feeling they [Madrid] transmitted was the worst, and I don’t say it as a criticism. We all have problems in our clubs. But I have the feeling that it’s an important missed opportunity. I say we lost the opportunity to hit the table. We had full control of the game. In the second half, we let them grow based on our losses and they scored a goal, and in the end the second one. If we had taken advantage of several chances, we would have left with an advantage on the scoreboard” Pique added.
Barcelona will host Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou on Saturday with the hopes of returning back to winning ways. While Real Madrid will travel to Benito Villamarín to take on Real Betis on Sunday.