Gerard Pique accepts Barcelona were second best in their defeat to Atletico Madrid and says his side could have played for three hours and still would not have scored a goal.
The Catalan giants fell to a second straight defeat in all competitions – and their first in LaLiga since May – as they went down 2-0 to a Luis Suarez-inspired Atletico on Saturday.
Barca had two shots on target over the 90 minutes at Wanda Metropolitano, only one of which seriously troubled Jan Oblak as he kept out Philippe Coutinho’s attempt.
Memphis Depay, who has had the joint-most shots on target of any player in LaLiga this term (13, level with Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema), struggled up top as he fired over from his only effort.
Atletico were clinical at the other end by comparison, scoring from two of their six shots as Suarez set up Thomas Lemar for the opener and calmly tucked in a second before half-time.
Barca have now shipped five goals without response in their past two games, and Pique, who played a full part in the losses to Benfica and Atleti, recognises his side have multiple issues to work on.
“We started well, but they scored two similar goals from very little,” he told Movistar. “It is difficult for us. We are suffering and there are several problems.
“People already know the issues. Even a blind man can see what we lack. But we will recover from this.
“It is not something we have experienced before, but the dressing room is good. We’re not getting involved in anything else.”
Pique was referring to the ongoing speculation over head coach Ronald Koeman’s future, with the Dutchman’s status uncertain after 14 months in charge, although he this week received a public vote of confidence from Joan Laporta.
Barca have won just one of their past six matches in all competitions and are ninth in LaLiga having played seven games, five points adrift of leaders Real Madrid.
Asked if he expects Koeman to leave before his side’s next game at home to Valencia in two weeks’ time, Pique said: “The players don’t get involved in that.
“We just listen to what the coach tells us. There is little we can do. That’s down to the president and the coach.”
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