Gerard Pique admits Atletico Madrid are contenders

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique praises Atletico Madrid for their strong start to the season.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes that Atletico Madrid are contenders for the La Liga title this season.

Atletico are level on points with Barca at the top of the table having won all eight league matches this season, including a 1-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

"I'm convinced that after the great match they played at Madrid, which surprised me, they will not let up. They don't have our style of play but are solid in defence, break well on the counter-attack and have Diego Costa," Pique told La Vanguardia.

"They know their own game and that is vital for any team. We hope to be alongside them in the fight and in two or three months we will have a better idea."

Atletico finished third last season.

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Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal against Celtic during their Champions League group match on October 1, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona24195062115162
2Atletico MadridAtletico2416713692755
3Valencia24144647281946
4Real Madrid23136455262945
5Sevilla2412393135-439
6Villarreal2411583529638
7EibarEibar2410593236-435
8GironaGirona249783430434
9Celta Vigo249694134733
10Real Betis24103114150-933
11Getafe2471072621531
12Real Sociedad2485114645129
13Leganes2385102025-529
14Athletic Bilbao2461082427-328
15AlavesAlaves2491142233-1128
16Espanyol246992232-1027
17Levante24311102138-1720
18Las PalmasLas Palmas2453161852-3418
19Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2445152453-2917
20Malaga2434171538-2313
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