It was a deliberate booking by Gerrard Pique indeed. And he was ordered to commit the foul by manager Luis Enrique himself. So, does the foul deserve more punishment?
Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos received their second yellow cards for wasting time in a Champions League group game between Ajax Amsterdam and Real Madrid back in 2010. Madrid beat Ajax 4-0 and secured the next round spot as group winners, with one last group game to spare. It means, the last group game were meaningless for Madrid because mathematically, they were out of reach by other teams in the same group.
Pique’s case is different. Barca are not mathematically out of Arsenal’s reach. Should Arsenal beat Barca by three-goal margin at Camp Nou, they would go through to quarter final instead of Barca. I mean, this is the knock out phase, not a group stage. Nothing is secured yet. Anything can happen in football.
From one point of view, I have to say that Arsenal strikers will be lucky enough not to have to face Gerrard Pique in the second leg next month. Do you guys agree?