Get the job done. That’s what yesterday’s match against relegation-threatened AE Prat was all about for FC Barcelona B. Last, they conceded a late goal and let the chance to secure top spot in the league slip. Not this time though. The Blaugranas made light work of their visitors and after the referee’s final whistle, the Miniestadi, finally went into party mode.
Barcelona B, leaders of Group 3 of the Segunda División B, continued their impressive march towards clinching top spot with a narrow but immensely valuable 1-0 win over Catalan neighbors Lleida. Gerard’s team was pressed hard by the visitors at the Miniestadi, but an impressive start and some desperate defending in the closing stages was enough to seal the win. The Blaugranas march on unimpeded towards the big goal of promotion.
It’s not often that someone can say that there is any individual or team that can serve as an example to follow for Barcelona’s first team. Widley regarded as the best team in the world, the Blaugranas are usually the example to follow. At this stage of the season though, with the first leg of the team’s crunch Champions League tie against Juventus, the first team could do worse than take a look down the ladder at Can Barça. Barcelona’s women team and the Juvenil A team, have already gotten to the stage that Luis Enrique’s team aims to reach, and there are a couple of lessons to be learned.
There are times when a football match is nothing but a match, because of a huge gap in quality between the two competing sides. The world of football sees big scorelines, but when the goals run into double figures, history is in the making. The Miniestadi yesterday saw the league leaders go up against Eldense, a side placed rock bottom, but all that everybody expected was a big win for the hosts. Nobody saw the extent of Barça B’s win coming. In the end, the Blaugranas hit a dozen goals past their despairing guests, and made their way straight into the record books of the Spanish lower leagues.
Barcelona B thrashed Llagostera 4-0 last week to return to winning ways, but everyone knew that last weekend’s travel to Valencia would be a different kind of ball game. A match against a direct promotion rival away from home, is basically, as hard as a task can get for any team. Yet Gerard’s Barça B negotiated their task magnificently. A repeat of last week’s scoreline, meant that the Blaugranas not only got all three points, but did so in triumphant fashion.
Barcelona B, leader of Group 3 of the Segunda B with 57 points, managed to return to winnng ways this weekend after two consecutive draws. The Blaugranas hosted a relegation-threatened UE Llagostera at the Miniestadi, and at the end of the ninety minutes they ensured that their Catalan neighbours wouldn’t be able to breath any easier, dealing them a heavy 4-0 defeat that was accompanied by plenty of spectacle.
It was about time. Barcelona B rediscovered their best version in Cornellà, and after exhibiting their superiority against a rival which had beaten them in the first round match at the Miniestadi, Gerard’s men took home all three points with a 2-0 win that rather flatters the hosts. Barcelona B’s revenge on their Catalan neighbors was based on the team’s defensive solidity and the attacking effectiveness. The winning cocktail of the two ensured that the Blaugranas maintained their slender one-point lead at the top of the table for yet another week.
One point won or two points lost? Barça B could not take full advantage of their home encounter against their closest challengers for top spot, Alcoyano, but in the end the reserves managed to save a point, with Gerard Gumbau coming to the team’s rescue with textbook free kick right at the death. A draw was probably the best Barcelona B could get out of this match given the way things panned out, but the feeling at the end was one of what it could have been had the best Barça B turned up.
Unbeaten runs, no matter how impressive they get, have a beginning and an end. Our friends in Madrid saw their bubble burst last week, but Barcelona’s reserve team didn’t seem to take notice. After beating Hércules last week, a rival with similar ambitions, Barcelona B wanted to further extend their seven-match unbeaten run against another high-flying rival, Villarreal B. The hurdle proved a little too high for the Blaugranas though, whose meaningless dominance of possession was no much for the Yellow Submarine’s effectiveness.
Champions are made of metal. Barcelona B have looked every bit like champions during this season, overcoming any kind of difficulty that has crossed their path to assert their superiority in Group 3 of the Segunda División B. So well-focused have Gerard’s players been, that they now seem to have mastered the complicated task of playing with a man down. This weekend in Sagunto, the Blaugranas played for half an hour with ten men, and still managed to pull off a seemingly unlikely comeback in the end.