Gerard Piqué was shown a yellow card against Valencia on Sunday night as Barcelona suffered a third straight league defeat, a result that has blown the LaLiga title race wide open. The booking against Los Che was the Spain international’s tenth of the season, which means he will be unavailable for Luis Enrique ahead of Wednesday’s trip to Riazor to take on Deportivo. The Barça defender went in Fernandez Borbalán’s book in the 34th minute following a cynical foul on Rodrigo.
Bookings against Rayo, Eibar, Villarreal, Espanyol and Athletic Club meant los culés had to make do without Pique on matchday 21 of the league, when they travelled to La Rosaleda to face Málaga (1-2). This time round the 29-year-old must serve a one-match ban for collecting yellow cards against Levante, Sevilla, Villarreal (again), Real Sociedad and Valencia.
Evidence suggests that Marc Bartra will be brought in to deputise for the ex-Manchester United centre half, as Vermaelen is still not fully recovered from his soleus injury and Mathieu is also out of action due to a torn meniscal.