Yannick Carrasco’s strike right on half-time was enough to seal all three points for Atleti and the evening went from bad to worse for Barcelona as Pique went down in a heap just past the hour-mark at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Pique appeared in some discomfort after Angel Correa landed awkwardly on top of him on the edge of the penalty area and Barca’s medical staff had to help the veteran centre-half off the pitch.
Sergino Dest came on to replace Pique for the remainder of Saturday’s heavyweight La Liga clash and and reports suggest the centre-back could be sidelined for between four and six months.
Though Barca have refused to put a timeframe on Pique’s possible return, an official statement on the club’s website has confirmed that the Spain international would be unavailable until further notice.
‘Tests carried out this Sunday have shown that he has a grade three sprain in the internal lateral ligament and partial injury to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee,’ it said.
‘He is therefore not available for selection, and the evolution of the injury will determine his availability.’
Ronald Koeman was unhappy with Barcelona’s defending for Carrasco’s goal in the dying moments of the first half and took full responsibility for his side dropping yet more points in La Liga.
‘For a big team, conceding a goal like this … it can’t be, because it’s the 47th minute, we had the ball and then they score, 1-0,’ the Dutchman said.
‘We controlled and we knew that it was difficult to create many chances.
‘We had a pair and with the score 0-0, the game would have been totally different [if they had taken either chance].
‘Like any coach, I am responsible for the team’s results.’
‘It’s a pretty big difference, but there is a lot of the league left and a lot of games,’ the Barcelona head coach added.
‘We know that every match is complicated, but after this defeat we have to chain an important winning streak.
‘I have seen a team that has fought until the last second to been able to level the game, so in this sense I am not worried.’