Espanyol fans pushed to the limits the provocation towards Barça
It was supposed to be a calm, peaceful derby, after the very tense last two - one goalless draw in Cornellà in La Liga and the 1st leg 4-1 Barça win in Camp Nou - but not everyone got the memo. Although on the pitch there was - relatively - no problem to overshadow the performances of the two teams, the story was different in Cornella El Prat stands. The "wonderful minority" stroke hard with a few words addressed to Barça players, amongst whom especially Piqué, and the whole institution. It was a reaction to Barça defender's declarations after the 1st leg derby and his few provocations on social media. Here are the banners Espanyol fans put up yesterday.
FOTOS. Muntatge de les pancartes que s'han vist avui a Cornellà - El Prat. pic.twitter.com/GEcvNzQA2x— LaTdP (@LaTdP) 13 gener, 2016
Otra pancarta: "Antonio de la Rua, contigo empezó todo" pic.twitter.com/xHlMo7M3Hq— Xavi Riera (@xaviriera) 13 gener, 2016
"Shakira es de todos" / "Shakira is for everyone" - Here is a clear attack to Gerard Piqué whose girlfriend is the famous Colombian singer.
"Suarez ladrador y mordedor" / "Suarez barking and biting" - It is true that on a few occasions Luis Suárez would lose his nerves and use his teeth, as for the barking, Espanyol fans refer to the 1st leg post-game supposed insult of the Uruguayan player.
"Catalans RCDE Suissos FCB" / "Catalans RCDE Swiss FCB" - This is a direct attack to Barça's history as an institution. Created by Joan Gamper - born in Switzerland as Hans-Max Gamper - and his friends, the blaugrana club is considered by Espanyol fans as a "Swiss" club.
"Antonio de la Rua contigo empezó todo" / "Antonio de la Rua, it all started with you" - Another reference to Piqué's better half Shakira, who used to date the lawyer, son of former Argentine president Fernando de la Rúa. The Colombian superstar is in a legal fight with Antonio as the latter claims he is the main responsible for Shakira's carreer and demands 100 million euros from her part, while she claims he stole 5 million euros from him.
"Mas que un partido, es nuestra dignidad!!! Honoradnos"/"More than a game, it is about our dignity!!! Honour us" - Dominated in the first leg with a large margin (4-1), Espanyol supporters were maybe not believing their team could go through to the next round, but they asked at least for a good performance. Turned out it was not so good.
"Pau, tu pie nos marca el camino"/"Pau, your foot show us the way" - Another little provocation from the Pericos towards Leo Messi and Barça. In the first leg, Espanyol goalkeeper Pau López was guilty of crushing Messi's shinbone with his foot and was not punished by the referee.
That wasn't all however. In addition to these hateful words dispersed all around in the stadium, there was also a very special treat awaiting Gerard Piqué.
Nothing less than a pig's head. A direct reference to Luis Figo, who received the same treatment from Barça fans at Camp Nou in a 2002-03 El Clásico after having joined Real Madrid in the summer, despite him saying Merengues were "whiners" the year before, wearing Barça's shirt. Fortunately, Piqué was not subbed on and therefore did not receive his "gift".
This did not prevent Barcelona from winning 2-0 on a hostile ground, and therefore going through to the Copa del Rey's quarter-finals.