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Dec, 4, 2012

Pique: Barca must avoid complacency

Gerard Pique has urged Barcelona not to become complacent after stretching their lead at the top of La Liga to six points on the weekend.

• Blog: Is Deulofeu ready?

Atletico defeat against Real in the Madrid derby extended the gap for Barca, but Pique is confident that past experiences have taught his side to remain focussed for the entire season.

"This good start gives us plenty of peace of mind ahead of what we still have to come," he said. "We are in a great position, and if we can carry on like this, we have a lot to win.

"There is a lot of season left and we are experienced enough to know that we have to keep our feet on the ground. In Guardiola's first year we had a similar lead, but ended up having to go to the Bernabeu to win the league.

Saturday's 5-1 rout of Athletic Bilbao completed Barcelona's best start to a La Liga season, with 13 wins and one draw from the opening 14 rounds.

"To break a record like that, you have to play well and also have the little bit of luck that we've been having," Pique said. "You have to take things a game at a time and that way the records break themselves.

A Lionel Messi brace also moved the Argentine within one of Gerd Muller's goalscoring record for a calendar year and Pique believes that will boost Barca in the coming weeks.

"It is one of those things that get you excited, because it's such an old record. But we shouldn't be focussing on that, because that will actually make it harder for him to score. Messi has to relax."

Messi will have the opportunity to add to his season tally when Barcelona host Benfica on Wednesday, although playing against a team fighting for a place in the knockout stage will give Barca a real test.

"They have a very attack-minded team, with players like Aimar and Cardozo," Pique said. "They're very skillful and will be coming here to win."

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