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Pique: Title hopes still alive

Gerard Pique expressed his relief after Barcelona kept their La Liga title hopes alive with a defeat of Mallorca despite finishing with ten men.

• Madrid and Barca victorious

Leading 1-0 through a first-half Lionel Messi goal, Barca had Thiago Alcantara sent off after the midfielder received a second yellow card on 56 minutes.

But Barca held on to wrap up the success as defender Pique netted with 11 minutes remaining to keep them within six points of leaders Real Madrid, who defeated Real Sociedad 5-1 on Saturday.

The Spaniard said: "It was very hard to win, especially with 10 men. The three points are very important and we deserved them. We tried to control the match; they wanted to equalise, but we played well with 10 players.

"The most important thing is that our title hopes are still alive. What really matters is winning and we've managed to earn a great victory."

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