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 he did handle the ball in the penalty area as Nicolas Anelka attempted to go past him but claimed it was not deliberate, writes James Olley.

The incident, which saw the Chelsea striker try to lob the ball over Pique, 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 claimed they were fouled in the area, while Samuel Eto'o also handled but Ovrebo did not point to the spot.

Barcelona were also unhappy after the referee sent off Eric Abidal and booked Daniel Alves.

The pair will now miss the final along with the injured Rafael Marquez.

As a result, Pique will have to lead the defence with the veteran Carles Puyol and he is relishing the prospect of facing former club Manchester United in Rome on 27 May. …

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