Gerard Pique conceded Barcelona’s season felt bittersweet after it concluded with a surprise 2-1 Copa del Rey final defeat to Valencia.
Marcelino’s side, who shared a pair of draws with the champions in LaLiga this term, tore into their illustrious opponents and deservedly led 2-0 at the interval through goals from Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo Moreno.
Pique also completed a remarkable goal-line clearance to deny Gameiro and, although Barca belatedly hit their stride, Lionel Messi’s 73rd-minute finish from close range was all they had to show for their efforts.
Despite cantering to an eighth title in 11 seasons in Spain’s top flight, Saturday’s loss coming on the back of Barca’s stunning Champions League semi-final elimination at the hands of Liverpool has had a sapping effect.
“It was a good year because the league was won, but the expectations a few weeks ago were to make a much better year,” Pique told reporters.
“We leave with that bittersweet taste that the season could have been much better.”
“I’m pleased with the way we reacted as a team and could have tied the game”
“When you win the league it’s always a good year but it’s true that the last few weeks have left a bittersweet taste” pic.twitter.com/7gQDQXyDte
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 25, 2019
The result is likely to invite further scrutiny for head coach Ernesto Valverde.
Pique reiterated that the former Athletic Bilbao boss retains dressing room backing but added Valverde’s fate is not in the hands of the players.
“The future of the coach does not worry us, we have to do an individual and collective analysis,” he said.
“We have already said that we would like the coach to continue because he has done a great job, but they are decisions that are not in our hands.
“We have a long summer to analyse what can be done better.”
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