Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Handball Was Not Done Deliberately, Insists Pique

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

My Handball Was Not Done Deliberately, Insists Pique

Article excerpt

BARCELONA defender Gerard Pique has admitted that he did touch the ball in the penalty area but insisted his attempt to stop Nicolas Anelka was not deliberate, writes James Olley.

The incident was one of four possible penalties turned down by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo that left Chelsea furious.

"To be fair, it touched my hands but it was not deliberate," Pique said. "The referee can decide what he wants and you have to respect all the decisions. But sometimes they are wrong.

"I'm just happy that I'm through to the final." Florent Malouda and Didier Drogba also claimed they were fouled in the area, while Samuel Eto'o also handled but Ovrebo did not point to the spot.

"There are no words to describe how happy the team is," Pique added.

"A team like this, trying to attack all the time, cannot go 180 minutes without scoring. It was in the last minute but it was enough."

With Chelsea leading Barcelona had Eric Abidal sent-off for a professional foul

on Anelka and boss Pep Guardiola was surprised that opposite number Guus Hiddink did not then try to kill the game with a second. …

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