Pique refuses to blame absence of Messi and Suarez for Barca draw

Lionel Messi missed Saturday's draw due to illness, while Luis Suarez was sidelined due to suspension.

Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique insisted there was no excuse for the LaLiga champions' stalemate against Malaga, despite the absence of star duo Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Barca failed to score at home for the first time since February 2015 as they played out a goalless draw with Malaga on Saturday.

Messi missed the clash due to illness, while Suarez was sidelined due to suspension.

Pique, however, refused to use the missing pair as an excuse after Barca fell four points behind leaders and arch-rivals Real Madrid.

"We're Barca and we can't blame absences," he said.

"We have players that cost a lot of money and a huge budget if we compare it with Malaga's. There are no excuses for not winning.

"It's worrying that we've dropped so many points at home. No one wants to draw against a rival that in theory we should beat. We've dropped two points."