Espanyol lost experienced midfielder Javi Fuego to Villarreal in the closing days of the transfer window, but have had all week to prepare for the game, and striker Gerard Moreno commented that "they may be talking about other issues elsewhere, but we are concentrating on the game".
Issued with various insults during the game over his relationship with singer Shakira, accompanied with claimed racial slurs from Espanyol fans to central defensive partner Samuel Umtiti - the Spanish global silenced the crowd by putting his finger to his mouth.
Cornella is a suburb of Barcelona, where the Cornella-El Prat stadium has been Espanyol's home since 2009, with Pique's implication being the club do not deserve to be considered Barca's rivals.
It has been reported that several FC Barcelona players were involved in a spat that continued into the tunnel on Sunday, following their heated Catalan derby with Espanyol. But he chose to bounce back and silence the crowd with a goal that would eventually decide the course of the game.
Indian firing across LoC martyrs one, injures two: ISPR
On Sunday, four Indian soldiers were killed and four other persons were injured in the firing in Rajouri and Poonch districts. Meanwhile the district administration Rajouri has closed all 84 schools located near the LoC for three days.
However, Barcelona's 22nd game unbeaten broke their own club record and kept the possibility of a broken league record on track. "I hope everything is very calm". On our part, we will not get into this game or provocations, we respect everyone. The conditions weren't as bad for them as they were for us. "We put in a big effort and were able to rescue ourselves and avoid a 1-0 defeat", he added. "Therefore, we had to try long balls and more strategic plays, but in the end, Pique's goal arrived". However, Espanyol coach Quique Sanchez Flores did not agree with Iniesta and reckoned that the fans will not forgive Pique in the future.
"Celebrating the goal was special after everything that's happened in the last week", Pique told reporters.
Ideally, Lionel Messi should be one of the players rested because the last thing Valverde needs is his talisman suffering an injury or the onset of fatigue, but Messi is famously insistent upon playing as much as possible and would not take kindly to being left on the bench. Cristian Stuani scored twice against a rival for whom the best news was the return to action of Yeray Alvarez after overcoming cancer for the second time and on World Cancer Day.
As expected, Barcelona dominated possession from the start.