A paltry 1,714 supporters turned up at the Miniestadi on Friday for the visit of Andalusian side Recreativo de Huelva. With both teams locked on 16 points before this game and in a 7th place plays 8th place scenario, we had a nice little sub plot to this match.
It was a fairly uneventful opening to the game which was still goalless after the first 20, both teams eager to settle and play their natural game.
As we approached the half hour mark, the always impressive Luis Alberto played a beautiful pinpoint cross field through ball straight into the path of Gerard Deulofeu who made no mistake with a well placed low shot. Barca’s lead was short lived however as they gifted an equaliser to their visitors on 34. Despite there being a crowd of Barça defenders in or around the edge of the area, the ball still found its way to an unmarked Matamala who profited.
Rafinha should’ve done much better than a skewed shot when well placed just before the break, and the home side were indebted to the industrious Planas for his goal saving tackle on Brozek to allow the teams to go in level at half time.
Barca came out on the front foot and the early pressure led to a free kick on 51. Grimaldo whipped the ball in only to see his shot cannon back off of the crossbar and ten minutes later, Dongou was clearly tripped in the area but a goal kick was the referees decision. It was all Barça at this point and a great run across goal by Dongou drew players out of position, only for Rafinha to pass up the chance.
Deulofeu was substituted on 66 after a decent shift, Kiko taking his place. Play had stalled for the substitution, but restarted with a Barça free kick which was headed home by the lively Rafinha, Luis Alberto again the provider.
The latter deserved to get his name on the scoresheet but his next free kick on 69 also found the crossbar rather than the net. It was the third time in the game that the woodwork had been rattled by the home side.
After a few chances had been wasted by Barça, Recre still found themselves in the match and Barca’s Achilles heel, their defending, would haunt them in the last ten minutes. With 8 minutes left Alexander thought he’d earned a valuable point for a Recre team without an away win all season yet it would get better within 4 minutes for the visitors as a breakaway forced Grimaldo into a mistake which allowed Valle round the back to finish with aplomb.
Barca’s late substitutions (Araujo for Dongou, Lobato for Sergi Roberto) were nothing but a last throw of the dice from Eusebio.
Final Score: Barçelona B 2-3 Recreativo Huelva
Barçelona B: Oier Olazábal, Ivan Balliu, Sergi Gómez, Carles Planas, Alejandro Grimaldo, Ilie Sanchez, Sergi Roberto (Cristian Lobato, 89″ mins), Rafinha, Jean Marie Dongou (Sergio Araujo, 86″ mins), Gerard Deulofeu (Kiko Femenia, 66″ mins), Luis Alberto.
Recreativo: Alejandro, Córcoles, Zamora, Montoro, Brozek, Dimas, M. Martínez, Matamala, Morcillo, Chuli, Alexander
1-0 Deulofeu (27″ mins)
1-1 Matamala (34″ mins)
2-1 Rafinha (67″ mins)
2-2 Alexander (82″ mins)
2-3 Valle (86″ mins)
This review was written by our Barca B correspondent, Jason Pettigrove. Follow Jason on twitter @jasonpettigrove