Three points. That’s it. That’s the tweet. Barcelona B pull off an outstanding performance to bag a 3-0 win away to UB Conquense.
Coming off a 0-0 draw to Peralada last week, Garcia Pimienta made 4 changes to his starting line up. Oscar Mingueza, Ferran Sarsanedas, Ballou Tabla and Kike Saverio are brought in to replace Juan Miranda, Monchu Rodriguez, Abel Ruiz and Carles Aleña. Miranda, Monchu and Ruiz all featured in the Uefa Youth League on Tuesday and, as a result, were rested for this fixture. Aleña was not included in the final matchday squad, assuming he would be given the opportunity to play in the first team’s Catalan derby against Girona, but was too left out of the squad. There’s a lot to be said about Valverde and his decisions surrounding rotation of players but let’s focus on the B team, shall we?
Barça B played attacking football from the start with the first real chance coming in the 10th minute; Ballou’s shot was saved by Conquense goalkeeper Sergi Puig, who is on loan from the Catalan side. More chances created as well as a free kick opportunity on the stroke of half-time, which was uncharacteristically shot over the bar by Alex Collado.
The second half called for dynamic play and goals galore. Part one of Rafa Mujica’s hat-trick came three minutes into the half, a perfectly timed ball provided by Jorge Cuenca had Mujica calmly netting it home. It took the forward three more minutes to complete his brace; a very sloppy and scrambled goal saw Ballou’s attempt rebounded into his path, Mujica claimed the goal. Goal number three created in minute 70; a run in deep from Ballou, a genius back heel pass from Riqui Puig, Kike’s shot saved and Mujica completes his hat-trick on the rebound. We’re all stunned.
Going into this game, with no Miranda in left-back and no Aleña for extra support in midfield was a risk. Having Mingueza, a right-footed centre-back, occupying the left-back position would make anyone nervous. Mingueza held his ground and the defence overall was very stable but the team did lack Miranda’s creativity and vision on the left side. Chumi was the stand out defender for the match, constantly cutting Conquense’s attacking break short before reaching Carevic, who had very little to do in this match.
This has to be the best performance from Barça B in months. Following the disappointment of last season, including the first four games of this season, the performance on Match Day 5 was beyond amazing. A solid defense, creative midfield and fast thinking and threatening attack. This is Barça B. This is what we’ve been waiting for.
INJURY UPDATES AND MOVING FORWARD:
Oriol Busquets received a medical clearance on Friday and made his return to the squad as well as a cameo in the closing minutes of the game. Busquets has been sidelined for 8 months following an injury last season. Besides the obvious similarities in name and position, Oriol is the football twin, the new generation version of Sergio Busquets. The 19-year old possesses the same vision and technique as the first team number 5. It’s great to have him back in the squad.
The next challenge is Olot at the Mini. It only goes up from here. All available players should be fully rested for the fixture as there is no Uefa Youth League in the week. Hopefully we’ll see certain players joining the group training as they continue to work on their injury returns. Barça B need to maintain their current work ethic, and improve, if they want to gain promotion back to La Liga 123.