Pique praises Barca display

Centre-half delighted with resounding first leg win

Pique: Reasons to be cheerful

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Gerard Pique has hailed the latest heroics from Barcelona as they swept aside Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday.

The Catalan giants proved far too strong in the first leg of a UEFA Champions League quarter-final clash at Camp Nou.

A resounding 5-1 win has them well on course for a place in the last four, with Andres Iniesta, Dani Alves, Seydou Keita and Xavi among the goals.

Pique was also on the scoresheet in midweek and admits Barca did not expect things to go so well against Shakhtar, with the Ukrainians tipped by some to be spring a surprise on Spanish soil.

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"They are a great team and it is always difficult to play against them," the former Manchester United centre-half told Sky Sports.

"I think that we played really well and 5-1 is a great score to take to the Ukraine.

"They have really good players, really good strikers that are really quick and are Brazilian with a lot of skill and quality. We have had to work really hard and I think we did a good job."

Focus

Barca are now almost certain to meet arch-rivals Real Madrid in the semi-finals, with Jose Mourinho's side having seen off Tottenham 4-0 in the first leg of their quarter-final on Tuesday.

Pique insists Pep Guardiola's side will not be getting too far ahead of themselves, but admits the prospect of a clash with Real has already got Europe buzzing.

He added: "We have to concentrate on ourselves and we did a great job.

"We have to remain focused on us and try to keep doing better. If we can get to the semi-finals and play against them, it will be a great game.

"I think everyone wants this because there is a lot of rivalry between the two teams.

"Barcelona and Real Madrid are two of the most important teams in Europe and it will be a great game if finally we qualify, Madrid and Barcelona."

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