Barcelona defender Gerard Pique conceded that Athletic Bilbao put Barcelona in their place after losing 1-0 to the Basque team in their La Liga opener.
Bilbao legend Aritz Aduriz, who will retire at the end of the season, came on as a late substitute and had only been on the pitch for a minute when he met Ander Capa’s cross with an acrobatic volley to net an 89th-minute winner at San Mames.
While he accepted the defeat, Pique said he would prefer to lose at the beginning of the campaign rather than at the business end of the season.
“San Mames is always very difficult and today the competition put us in our place,” he told Movistar.
“We weren’t ourselves. From the start, they pressed us a lot and physically they were better, although in the second half they dropped off a little.
“In the end, winning or losing comes down to details, and we leave with a defeat that will be good for us, because it’s better to lose now than at the end of the season.
“We came from pre-season, there are new people… sometimes, you prepare for a game in one way and it doesn’t happen as you expected.
“In the first half, they had one clear chance, [Inaki] Williams’ one, and we had Luis hit the post.
“We played more in our own half, but that’s what you expect at San Mames. In the second half, we played more in their half, but details are details and one killed us in the end.”
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