Barcelona defender Gerard Pique defends handball in draw against Osasuna

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Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes the penalty given to Osasuna during their 2-2 draw was not a fair decision to give away.

An entertaining night at Pamplona ended with the spoils being shared after four goals were scored in an exciting contest, including a dream goal for 16-year-old Blaugrana striker Ansu Fati.

However, it was Pique who was at fault for Barcelona, conceding a penalty in the death.

The former Spain international defended his action and claimed that his arm was swung in the natural direction and the penalty was an unfair call.

“I hit it with my hand, but we always have meetings at the start of the season and they talk about distance to the ball,” Pique said, according to Marca. “I didn’t have time [to get out of the way].

“I wasn’t taking up more space than normal with the hand. I was jumping in my natural way. I’d like the referees to try and do it.

“For me, who was in the middle of it, it shouldn’t have been a penalty.”

Despite dropping points in two out of three game so fars, Pique is calm and believes there is time for Barcelona to set things right.

“We’re not worried,” he said. “It’s not the start we wanted, but we know that the league is long.

“The important thing is to get to March or April with a chance of winning the league.

“We’d have liked to have nine points from nine, but we’re having more difficulties than expected.

“It’s important to remain united.”

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Neymar is staying at PSG as Barcelona fail to reach an agreement for Brazilian

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Neymar

Neymar is to stay at Paris Saint-Germain after seeing his desire to transfer back to Barcelona fail, according to press reports on Sunday.

“Se queda,” Spanish for he’s staying, read the L’Equipe headline on its front page with a photo of the Brazilian.

“Faces with the impossibility of completing his transfer to Barcelona, Neymar had informed his entourage he has decided to end the season at PSG,” the daily said.

Spanish sports newspaper Mundo Deportivo carried similar news, which comes just ahead of the transfer market deadlines in France and Spain on Monday.

“Neymar’s entourage admit it: it’s finished,” it said.

Neymar, 27, became the world’s most expensive player when PSG paid €222 million  for his transfer from Barcelona two years ago.

A scorer of 51 goals in 58 appearances in his two seasons in the French capital, Neymar has not featured at all for his current club this season amid the uncertainty surrounding his future.

He trained with PSG on Thursday, but coach Thomas Tuchel omitted him from the team that beat Metz 2-0 in Ligue 1 action on Friday.

Efforts to negotiate a suitably lucrative transfer back to Barcelona have seemingly floundered, with PSG sporting director Leonardo saying Friday there was “no agreement. It depends on Barcelona”.

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Ernesto Valverde slams penalty as "absurd" after Barcelona are held to a 2-2 draw by Osasuna

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Ernesto Valverde

Ansu Fati became the third youngest player to score in La Liga on Saturday but the 16-year-old could not rescue Barcelona from being held to a 2-2 draw away at newly-promoted Osasuna.

Fati equalised five minutes after coming on at half-time and Barca looked likely to complete the comeback when Arthur Melo, also on a substitute, made it two 13 minutes later at El Sadar Stadium.

Yet Roberto Torres, who had given Osasuna an early lead, delivered a twist by scoring a late second from the penalty spot after Gerard Pique handballed.

Hear from Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde in the clip above 










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