Pique: Barca can still win La Liga despite losing to Real Madrid
Barcelona defender Gerard Pique rued his side's failure to take a stranglehold on the La Liga title race as they lost 2-0 at Real Madrid yesterday morning (Singapore time), after dominating the first half and failing to take their early chances.
Barca went into the game with a two-point lead over Real, but now find themselves trailing their arch-rivals.
Lionel Messi, Arthur Melo and Antoine Griezmann all missed clear opportunities.
But Real came out far stronger after the break and second-half goals from Vinicius and Mariano saw them take a one-point lead at the top of the standings.
"We controlled the game in the first half, which was the worst I have seen Madrid play in all the years I have played at the Bernabeu," Pique said.
"We had a chance to make a real statement and, if we had taken our chances, they would have had a mountain to climb.
"They come out of this game feeling very strong while we feel down,but we are not out. I think there is still time for us to win the league."
Real captain Sergio Ramos underlined the importance of the victory for his side - after a week in which they were reeling from a Champions League last-16, first-leg defeat at home by Manchester City and a shock 1-0 loss away to Levante in La Liga.
"This was a unique opportunity to put our own fate in our own hands for the rest of the season, against a brilliant side but with our fans on our side," he said.
"We were relentless in the second half and, once we got the goal, we made sure we didn't sit back and instead we set out to kill the game off and that's what we did.
"When results don't go your way, you feel in debt to the fans and we needed a day like this. We wanted to win and now we want to make it count by winning the title."
Real coach Zinedine Zidane believes they have also shown that they are ready to overturn the 2-1 deficit against City.
He said: "Today's reaction was a good one, our dressing room is not hurt." - REUTERS