The second game at the Mini Estadi this season ended in a 0-0 draw, leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of players and supporters. Barcelona B see off Match Day 4 with only one point at home to CF Peralada.
A very exciting line up for this encounter. There were 4 changes to Garcia Pimienta’s side as well as a shift of the captain’s armband, following their win last week in Sabadell. A rotation of goalkeepers with Lazar Carevic coming in for Jokin Ezkieta, who has been training with the first team during the week. Abel Ruiz, Riqui Puig and Carles Aleña come in for Ferran Sarsanedas, Ballou Tabla and Kike Saverio respectively. First captain Sarsanedas remained on the bench, leaving Monchu Rodriguez to captain the side for the night.
Aleña, out of his preferred position in midfield, occupied the right wing role. Very unusual especially since the play between him and Riqui Puig was magical. Having both of them in midfield would’ve posed a massive threat to the opposition.
Chumi and Jorge Cuenca start the second consecutive game as the centre back pairings, both holding a steady defensive line.
A slow starting game as there were very little chances created in the first half. But the home side showed much hunger in the second. As the game hit the 60-minute mark, chances from Abel Ruiz, Mujica, Collado and Aleña showed much promise. Abel Ruiz coming closest to goal but his shot rose over the crossbar. Frustrations from both sides were obvious with 4 yellow cards being shown to Peralada and one to Barça B, Monchu taking the credit. Santi Bueno, currently on loan to Peralada from Barça B, lashed out, immediately receiving a yellow, after visibly accusing Riqui Puig of diving. I would love to have seen the post-match conversation between the former teammates.
The saviour of the match, the man with magic gloves. Carevic pulled a number of incredible saves during the last 10 minutes of regular time, and 4 minutes of added time. Along with Alex Collado’s on the line clearance in the dying moments, Carevic definitely saved the side from last gasp embarrassment. It seems like he’s been watching a few Ter Stegen videos in his spare time.
The 0-0 result means that Barça B have registered 2 goals in 4 matches, one being an own goal, and a total of 4 points out of a possible 12. They currently sit at 16th place on the log.
There’s been talk surrounding Carles Aleña since the midfielder has returned from injury. Valverde has addressed this in a press conference during the week.
Ernesto Valverde said,
“Since the beginning, the intention has been for Aleña to help Barça B, but not on a constant basis. After these first few games, he will always be at the first team”
Aleña is an incredible talent and a very influential player with a lot of experience. He has scored 16 goals in all competitions for Barça B to date. Aleña joining the first team could be a blow for the B team. His teammates can take a lot from him and implement this into their game for their upcoming matches.
Uefa Youth League:
Like the Champions League for the first team, Juvenil A begin their Uefa Youth League campaign against PSV Eindhoven. There are 7 Barça B players called up to the squad to assist in defending their title. Mateu Morey, Guillem Jaime, Chumi, Juan Miranda, Monchu Rodriguez, Alex Collado and Abel Ruiz join the squad, seemingly to add experience as these players lifted the UYL trophy last season.
With these players adding games into their schedule during the domestic season, it would call for regular rotation in the squad. Barça B’s next match is away to Conquense. Consistency is key. The team needs to maintain this momentum in the fixtures to come if they want to get their three points.