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Casillas` absence will be felt by Real Madrid, says Pique

Madrid: Barcelona defender Gerard Pique says the last eight Copa del Rey victory over Malaga was a fair result and suggests that semi-final opponents Real Madrid will feel the absence of goalkeeper Iker Casillas.

The Blaugrana came out 6-4 aggregate victors after a pulsating encounter with Malaga which means they will face Jose Mourinho`s men in the last four.

But the 25-year-old admits that they were matched all the way by Manuel Pellegrini`s side.

"It was not easy at all. We had to work hard and keep the ball, although at times the game had been end-to-end. Even so, the result is fair," he told reporters.

"We knew it would be difficult. We came here needing to win, and both teams have played a great game.

"From the position I play, I didn`t think I would score so early. But I`m very happy to have qualified."

Thursday`s result has set up a mouth-watering clash with Real Madrid which is scheduled to be played on January 29, and Pique thinks the loss of their skipper, who fractured a finger against Valencia, is a big blow to Los Blancos.

He said: "Casillas is the captain and an emblem of Real Madrid. He has shown his quality over many years.

"His absence will be felt: not because of Adan, who is a great keeper, but because of the fact that Madrid will be without their captain."

On the contrary, Barcelona`s assistant coach Jordi Roura has shifted attention away from the upcoming match against the Catalan club`s arch-rivals.

He added: "I prefer not to talk about Real Madrid, we have to play Osasuna first."

Malaga`s Spanish winger Joaquin conceded that it was only a matter of time before Barca breached Manuel Pellegrini side`s backline.

Joaquin said: "We hung in there as long as we could, but Barca are an extraordinary team, and they have the best player in the world."