Sergio Ramos has hit back at Gerard Pique over his comments that Barcelona lost to the worst Real Madrid side he has faced at the Santiago Bernabeu, following Sunday’s El Clasico clash.
Madrid won 2-0 thanks to goals from Vinicius Junior and substitute Mariano Diaz which saw Barcelona suffer a first Clasico league defeat since April 2016.
But reacting to the defeat, Pique said their first-half performance represented “the worst Madrid” he has faced at the Bernabeu.
“Madrid in the first half was the worst Madrid I’ve faced at the Bernabeu,” Pique told reporters. “We missed a chance to hurt them.
“We have to play better than in the second half, though. We lost balls and they grew in confidence.
“The feeling they [Madrid] transmitted was the worst, and I don’t say it as a criticism.
“We all have problems in our clubs. But I have the feeling that it’s an important missed opportunity.
“I say we lost the opportunity to hit the table. We had full control of the game. In the second half, we let them grow based on our losses and they scored a goal, and in the end the second one.
“If we had taken advantage of several chances, we would have left with an advantage on the scoreboard.”
And in his response, Ramos said: “Everyone’s opinion is respectable,” he told reporters, via Spanish publication AS. “I sign up to win all Clasicos by making a first half as bad as he says.
“The approach was different. In the first half, we left the ball and in the second we decided to go.
“They were not so fresh and we started to generate chances.”
The win for Madrid meant they went ahead of Barcelona by a single point with 12 games each to go.
Victory for defending champions Barca would have sent them five points clear of their rivals.