Barcelona B are finding it extremely difficult to find the motivation to end the season by actually playing some football. On Saturday evening the team had everything set up in their favour against Valencia Mestalla, but somehow managed to allow the visitors to come back from a goal down to further prolong their rather miserable winless run, which now stands at four matches.
Life is going to be hard for Barça B in the remainder of the season. We knew that from last week, when a rather unfair defeat at home to Sabadell pretty much ended the reserves’ playoff challenge. This weekend, Gerard’s team was clearly struggling to motivate itself, as the 3-0 hands-down defeat at fellow mid-table side Atlético Baleares suggests. Despite of Gerard’s return to the bench after the coach serving his ban, the severely depleted side fielded could not keep up with the hosts’ tempo, and inevitably the islanders added three points to their account without sweating too much.
Yesterday, Barcelona B faced a sort of final against Catalan neighbours Sabadell. Recent results made the playoff dream close to impossible, but against Sabadell the Blaugranas could have handed themselves a lifeline. Coach Gerard had underlined the need to avenge the defeats against Sabadell at the Miniestadi and restore their playoff hopes, and the gaffer’s words seemed to take effect for some 54 minutes. A hellish 5-minute spell though saw the hosts go a man down and concede two goals. In the end, a highly promising night went sour and Barça B’s dream was killed for good.
With the hardest part of its match schedule now part of history, Barcelona B have managed to return to winning ways. After two consecutive defeats against direct promotion rivals Lleida and Reus, the Barcelona reserves had to negotiate an arguably lower obstacle in the form of relegation favourites Llosetense. With assistant coach García Pimienta at the helm due to Gerard López’s suspension, the blaugrana passed their test with flying colours, getting a professional 2-0 win and seeing two more Juvenil players make their B team debuts.
The world of football is dynamic. Anything can change within a very short time, and Barcelona B, have been taught that over the past two weeks. From a nine-match winning run, the Barcelona reserves are now on a two-match losing run, and without realistic chances of making the promotion playoffs. Yesterday’s home defeat against second-placed Reus Deportiu was annoyingly reminiscent of the defeat at Lleida. Barcelona B were by no means inferior to the rivals, but ended up undeservedly losing the match after a combination of bad luck and clinical finishing from the visitors.