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Bartomeu defends Pique after Catalan Derby celebration

Bartomeu defends Pique after Catalan Derby celebration

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has defended Gerard Pique over his celebration against Espanyol on Sunday.

After controversially saying that Espanyol are not from Cornella, it was fitting that Gerard Pique would be the man to pop up with a late equaliser against Barcelona’s Catalan rivals on Sunday.

His header leveled the scores after Gerard Moreno’s opener, and he celebrated wildly indicating to the home fans at the RCDE Stadium to be quiet after a barrage of abuse throughout the game.

Espanyol fans have spent many of the past years chanting about Pique, his wife Shakira and their children with abusive songs and he is often one of the most booed and whistled men in Spain when he visits the stadium.

Sunday’s derby was no different, but his celebrations sparked fury in the stands, which Bartomeu has now defended.

“It’s a celebration that many players have already made.┬áIt is normal in an important goal a few minutes from the end,” Bartomeu told Mundo Deportivo.

“It’s not the first time a player has silenced a stadium. We have already experienced this in the Camp Nou.

“I do not give important to what Pique says about Espanyol.”

Many players and staff from Barcelona played down the celebration after the game, insisting that such actions were to be expected in such tense and heated derby games.

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Espanyol representatives, on the other hand, were furious, with Quique Sanchez Flores among those to condemn the defender.

It is understood that Pique will face no action from the Spanish Football Association, despite calls for him to banned for up to three games.