Once again Eusebio Sacristan will be livid with the manner in which his young Barça side gave away this game. Third place in the table beckoned for the victors of this match-up between Las Palmas and FC Barcelona B, yet Barça’s achilles heel (at all levels of the club) – defending from set pieces – would haunt them in the dying seconds of this game.
Sadly this game will be remembered for the horrific knee injury sustained by Barça’s 17-year-old left back Alex Grimaldo rather than for the football.
Hércules arrived at the Miniestadi looking to prolong Barça’s three game losing streak. The visitors themselves have had an indifferent season and it is easy to forget that just two and a half years ago, this was a team, promoted from the Segunda Division, that inflicted a Camp Nou defeat on Pep Guardiola’s La Liga champions.
Barça B left back Alejandro ‘Álex’ Grimaldo yesterday suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his right knee while playing against Hércules CF. The 17-year old player from Valencia will have to undergo surgery in the coming days, which will give an estimation on his recovery time.
This has to go down as one of the poorest team performances that I’ve seen from a Barca B side in a long time.
Things didn’t look good for the visitors as they stepped onto the pitch for the pre match rituals, the near side of the pitch full of divots and pockmarked areas – certainly not conducive to the Barca style of crisp passing and movement along the floor.
On Tuesday, Eusebio’s Barça B played a friendly against Tercera División side Cornellà at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The match was used to give playtime to those who currently do not feature much in the league. The game ended in a 3-0 victory for the home side, with the goalscorers being Jean-Marie Dongou, Kiko Femenía and Gerard Deulofeu.
Barcelona’s Miniestadi was jumping as the teams took to the pitch in front of a sell out 16,000 crowd.
Top scorers in the Segunda Division, Barca B sat comfortably in 5th place going into this match whilst their 16th placed opponents Real Madrid Castilla were making their first trip to the miniestadi in 15 years and were hoping to do better than their last visit which resulted in a 5-0 loss back in 1998.
Barça B beat Real Madrid Castilla 3-1 in the mini-Clásico at a sold out Miniestadi. After the game the two goalscorers, Gerard Deulofeu and Sergio Araujo, talked about the game to the media.
Deulofeu commented that although it was a Clásico, the team wasn’t beset by nerves: “It was a normal game. We knew it was a classic, but we weren’t nervous.” He agreed that the sending off of Álex changed the game: “They played their defence quite high in the first half which prevented us from taking the ball with ease, but then came the red card and everything was a bit easier.”
There was never any doubt who was going to triumph in this match once Barça announced their intentions in the early stages.
Even before Gerard Deulofeu had given the hosts the lead from the penalty spot on 13 minutes, Luis Alberto had already gone close on three occasions including hitting the woodwork.
Barça were simply too good for their opponents who took until the 22nd minute to register their first chance, a free kick that slammed into Lomban’s face and back off of Luis Alberto’s nose, leaving both slightly dazed.
Although FC Barcelona’s first team has the day off and will not train together until Saturday when the squad will begin preparing for the League match against Levante, players Adriano and Thiago headed to the Ciutat Esportiva today to continue with recovering from their respective injuries. The two players began training with the group on Wednesday, and this Friday have continued working on the pitch beside the players of Barça B. On pitch no. 4 of the Ciutat Esportiva, and under the watchful eyes of first team physical trainers Paco Seirul·lo and Aureli Altimira, Thiago and Adriano combined training with the team with individual specific work.
After returning from Moscow this morning, FC Barcelona’s first team held a training session this Wednesday at midday. Both Thiago and Adriano were able to begin training with the group. Thiago is recovering from a tear to the internal collateral ligament of his right knee picked up during the September 29th match against Sevilla. Adriano, for his part, was injured during the match against Celta on November 3rd when he suffered a tear in the adductor of his right thigh.
Barca B manager Eusebio Sacristan sprang a surprise in the starting line up for the game against Real Murcia at the Estadio Nueva Condomina.
Barca’s form player of the season, the tricky Gerard Deulofeu was left on then bench with Jean-Marie Dongou, a much more direct, strong ‘English style’ centre forward preferred.
A game conditioned by intense rainfall in Miranda de Ebro, the blaugrana reserves began the day in timid fashion, having reached Anduva after beating Huesca 3-1 last Wednesday.
From the very first minute, Eusebio Sacristan’s pupils tried to deploy their style, with the ends wide open and two very sharp wingers, much like the first team, but without creating any danger in the final third.
After four days off, FC Barcelona’s first team returned to work this Tuesday morning. With the players on international duty still absent, only Jonathan dos Santos trained on the pitch of the Ciutat Esportiva, joining Barça B for the session. José Manuel Pinto, similar to last week, continued to do specific work in the gym, alongside the squad’s injured players: Éric Abidal (who has returned from Vall d’Aran), Thiago, Puyol, Piqué, Alves, and Cuenca.
The first training session of the week for Barça took place this Tuesday morning without the 15 players currently on international duty. Also absent were the 7 injured members of the squad, who continue with their specific recovery work. With so many absences, there were only three first team players available this Tuesday morning at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper: Jonathan dos Santos, Pinto, and Fontàs. The three players trained with the B team, in a session led by both Tito Vilanova and Eusebio Sacristán.
The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain. Or so the saying goes.
Try telling that to any of the players, staff and 977 supporters inside the Miniestadi. There was a deluge in Catalonia today.
Barca went into this match on the back of a four game winning streak and the signs were positive as the Blaugrana forced corner after corner, and attacked at every possible opportunity. It was a real surprise that it took until the 35th minute for the first goal to arrive.
Perhaps the early kick off and the warm sunshine contributed to the vast open spaces in the stands of the Estadio Jose Rico Perez.
The afternoon started in the worst possible fashion for Barça B. Kiko Femenia was injured in the pre match warm up, Eusebio drafting Sergio Araujo into the starting line up in his place. Would the feisty South American, restricted to mainly substitute appearances this season, make the most of the opportunity?
After a mix and match start to the season with a couple of losses followed by two wins, Eusebio sent his team out looking to build on their recent form, which, whilst far from agreeable, did at least bag the required results. Barca were without talisman Deulofeu and the injured duo of Ie and Juste aswell as the suspended Gomez.
Barca B made it 2 wins in a row with a fine victory on the road at Guadalajara this evening.
Eusebio will be delighted with the grit and character shown by his young team, who really dug in to earn the 3 points, especially after a late sending off for Sergi Gomez.
After a less than satisfactory start to the season which saw them lose the opening two games and their defensive woes exposed time and again, it was important that Barca provided a performance to the standard expected. Even during the win v Sabadell last weekend the flaws were obvious to all concerned, and a better team would certainly have sent Barca crashing to another defeat.
Oier was being worked well by the home side in the first period and had to intervene on a number of occasions to preserve his clean sheet, most notably when he did well to stop Susaeta. Kepa and Vicente were in the thick of the action but it was FCB’s Lobato who had the best chance of the first half, his effort going just millimetres wide.