Barcelona literally faced insult to injury in their 1-0 defeat against Atletico Madrid as Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto gave way to injury before full time. The Blaugrana had a poor outing against the hosts, who were resolute not only in their defense, but also going forward.
Contrary to the Simeone style of play that has become common over the years, Atletico did not sit back and defend their 1 goal lead, but came out of the dugout firing on all fronts hoping to add to their lead.
While Barcelona lost the match, they also lost two key defenders in the form of veteran Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto. And according to confirmations released by the club, Ronald Koeman could have a serious selection problem on his hands.
Gerard Pique has suffered a grade 3 sprain in the interior lateral ligament, along with a partial injury to his ACL.
While no timescale has been provided on Pique’s return to fitness, one can assume he will spend a lengthy spell on the sidelines considering a player of his stature left the pitch in tears.
In the centre-back position, Clement Lenglet remains the only fit senior player. Ronald Araujo is injured, and Samuel Umtiti never truly seems to leave the medical room for too long.
Pique’s absence will no doubt leave a void in Barca’s backline which will be very hard to replace. Koeman could try playing Frenkie de Jong in centre-back like he did before, or turn to the other youth players.
On the other hand, Sergino Dest could finally have some playing time in his natural right-back position owing to the injury suffered by Roberto.
Having been signed from Ajax this summer, the youngster will no doubt be watched with great interest by his coach. Roberto will be out for the rest of the year and will return somewhere around the end of January.