While many in Catalunya certainly cheered or breathed a sigh of relief at the announcement of Cyprus club APOEL FC drawing FC Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League group stage, Barça boss Luis Enrique likely raised a concerned eyebrow. For it was but three seasons ago when APOEL, battling a group consisting of FC Porto, Zenit St. Petersburg, and Shakhtar Donetsk, finished top and advanced two more rounds before being ruthlessly dispatched by Real Madrid in the quarterfinal. Minnows of that group and the 2011/12 tournament, the Cypriots advanced at the expense of more experienced clubs through conservative tactics, a good mix of experienced and explosive players, and biding time until home advantage presented itself. Could a surprise be lurking in the grass for the blaugrana, who squeaked by Villarreal, or could this be an opportune time for Lucho to do some tinkering as more big games loom?
After a draw in the first game of the league this season away at the Balearic Islands, FC Barcelona’s Juvenil A side managed to claim a victory against Gimnastic de Tarragona at home at the Joan Gamper sporting complex. Curiously, the winning goal – and only goal – came from the youngest player on the team, Ayoub.
Barcelona B managed to record their first away win yesterday, beating Alavés 2-3 in Vitoria, but the truth is that the scoreline should never have been so close. Eusebio’s team dominated against a clueless Alavés in the first half, and despite of the hosts having some chances, they managed to put themselves into a three-goal lead by halftime. The second half was another story, as the reserves completely lost control over the match, conceded two late goals, and saw the opposition miss a penalty right at the death, ensuring that they had to suffer in order to get a third consecutive win. They did though, and that’s all that matters. Read more after the break.
Up until the 79th minute, this was probably one of the most frustrating, mentally exhausting FC Barcelona matches. Not because the performance was disappointing or ‘boring’ but because everything was being executed perfectly, everything but the final decisive touch. Lionel Messi managed to find Luis Enrique’s super sub, Neymar Jr., twice to secure another late win against the stubborn Lions. Three games, three wins, and three clean sheets. I’m happy.
The Ratings… Everyone’s 2nd favourite part to a post-match analysis, after the Post-Match Review of course. It is now your turn to show us what you think of the players’ performances. Let’s see how you all do!
totalBarça welcomes you all to the Liga game between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club! Are you ready?
Saturday, September 13, 2014 @ 16:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
Barcelona play host to Athletic Club this weekend, and Luis Enrique will be looking to maintain his 100% Liga record in the third match of the league season, and the second at the Camp Nou. Athletic Club have not managed a win in Barcelona since the 2001-02 season, but certainly Ernesto Valverde’s team has enough quality to hurt Barça if the Blaugranas lose focus at any point.
If anyone told you that Barcelona B would end up beating Zaragoza 4-1 in two weeks’ time of the opener at El Sadar, you would have probably thought the man was over confident, or blown away by last season’s extraordinary exploits. Yet that’s precisely what happened at the Miniestadi yesterday. Eusebio’s team not only beat a promotion hopeful, but they completely demolished Zaragoza. They did so with 10 absences, in the aftermath of a summer that saw many of the team’s stars depart. The storyline is just inspiring. What’s more exciting than the previously sloppy, chance-missing Dongou bagging a brace for the second week on the run, and Gerard Gumbau, some 19-year-old kid who had only previously played football in the Primera Catalana scoring seconds after he came on? These moments are moments only offered by Eusebio’s Barça B. Read more after the jump.
On Sunday, current UEFA Youth League and Honour Division Liga champions, FC Barcelona’s Juvenil A side kicked off their campaign with a match against Atlétic Balears. The match is the first of this year’s Liga competition, and it certainly wasn’t an easy one ending with a draw without any goals being scored. Details after the jump.
Rafinha Alcântara, played with the Brazilian U-21 team against Palestine in Qatar which ended (3-0) in favor of Brazil. Rafinha played for 70 minutes before being subbed off.
The Brazilian team was having difficulties in breaking the deadlock of the Palestinians, however, in the second half, Ademilson scored Brazil’s first. Shortly after, Rafinha provided Dória with an assist. And finally, Vinicius Araujo scored the third and last goal.
Despite of the international break, Barcelona B are on show this weekend, with a second consecutive home match, this time against Zaragoza. After a mixed start to the league, with a poor performance and an inevitable defeat at Osasuna as well as a hard fought comeback win against Sabadell, the reserves would love to bag another three points and send a clear message to the rest of the Liga Adelante: The Miniestadi is no easy hunting ground for anyone. Their bid to win the match will have to be won without a number of important players, but as Barça B brilliantly demonstrated last year, challenges always take the best of Eusebio’s men. Read more…
totalBarça welcomes you all to the first Liga game of the season between Villarreal CF and FC Barcelona. Are you ready?!
Sunday, August 31, 2014 @ 19:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
After a making significant improvement on last week’s average performance in Pamplona, Barcelona B was able to take its first win of the season with a 3-1 win against the fellow Catalans of Sabadell. It was a very eventful night at Barcelona’s Miniestadi, as Sabadell went ahead, were then reduced to ten players, Barça B managed to win two penalties but converted just one, and finally Dongou turned the game on its head for the hosts. Definitely an enjoyable showing from Eusebio’s men, that leaves a lot of promise for the long season ahead.
The Madrigal has been a happy hunting ground for FC Barcelona in recent years. In the last five visits to the home of the Yellow Submarines, Barça have secured four wins and a draw, meaning Villarreal haven’t defeated the blaugrana on their own turf since the 2007/08 season. Marcelino García Toral will be looking to change that on Sunday and to put the first stain on Luis Enrique’s perfectly clean record.
Barcelona B didn’t get off to the best of starts in the Liga Adelante last week, as a lacklustre performance in Pamplona against promotion contenders Osasuna condemned the blaugrana reserves to a 2-0 defeat. However, the season is still in its early stages, and there will be many chances to bounce back, this weekend’s Catalan derby against CE Sabadell being one. The new-look Barça B side will take on their Catalan neighbours in the first match of the season before their own fans, and will hope to show that last season’s exploits aren’t out of reach for the new crop of players.
The early star of the show was an old Camp Nou friend (or an omen for those suspiciously inclined folks). But when the black cat was shown the exit (the security man earning a bite for his trouble), Luis Enrique’s new look FC Barcelona comfortably beat Elche 3-0. The visitors’ defensive strategy was voided when Lionel Messi opened up his 2014/15 account and despite a late first half setback, a debut goal 49 seconds into the second half from Munir El Haddadi ended this game as a competitive affair. There is certainly praise to go around, but seeing an energetic Messi with his much missed smile is unquestionably tonight’s key takeaway.
Barcelona B’s 2014/15 Liga Adelante season began with a defeat at El Sadar against promotion contenders Osasuna. What the reserves showed on the pitch at Pamplona must have surely left coach Eusebio with plenty to ponder. The team was lackluster, lackeing the grit and determination to match the hosts’ energy. Eusebio’s side created very few chances, and was forced to play with a backline that was totally in shambles. Avoiding relegation will be a challenge this season. Read more…
totalBarça welcomes you all to the first Liga game of the season between FC Barcelona and Elche CF! Are you ready?
Sunday, August 24, 2014 @ 21:00 Barcelona time - Convert to local time
Before last season, FC Barcelona and Elche CF hadn’t played each other in nearly 25 years. But before that, they were frequent opponents for the Catalans, and not without success: Elche has beaten Barça 8 times at home, and drawn 7 out of their 20 games at Camp Nou. Read more about the history of Barcelona vs Elche encounters after the jump.
With the start of Barça’s new Liga campaign kicking off tonight against Elche, the hosts have been fortunate with Pedro Rodríguez’s inclusion in the squad list. Pedro was suffering from gastroenteritis and was a doubt for tonight’s game. However, the Brazilian wonder kid Neymar Jr has been omitted from the squad list along with many others despite progressing well from his ankle injury. Neymar joins a list of absentees that includes Marc-André Ter Stegen, Thomas Vermaelen and Adriano Correia who are injured, Luis Suárez and Gerard Piqué who are suspended, and the omitted Alexandre Song. But Luis Enrique has put his faith in the club’s youth and included Munir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez. Check out the full squad list for the Elche match after the jump.
The wait is finally over. FC Barcelona will today face Elche CF in their opening league game and Luis Enrique will make his first official managerial debut with the Catalan club. Much has changed since last season, with several new arrivals and goodbyes. The fans and players are as hungry as ever and are aiming to put the disappointments behind them, for the night is darkest just before the dawn.
The new Liga Adelante season is finally here! Following some late drama, involving Real Murcia’s successful appeal against its administrative relegation at civil court and the LFP’s refusal, all issues have finally been resolved and 22 teams from all around Spain, including four from Catalonia, are set to begin a 42-round season that will see them play until mid-June 2015.
Barcelona B is one of those teams. The Barcelona reserves are the only reserve team in the division, and have the youngest squad by some margin, therefore there will be many people who will underestimate them. Starting with this Saturday’s challenging curtain raiser against Osasuna, Eusebio’s team has to start proving the doubters wrong, coming off the back of the best season in the team’s history.