After alternating losses and wins in their first three games, Barcelona B hoped to continue positively as they traveled to the Estadio Jose Rico Perez in Alicante to face Hercules CF. Hercules had won their opening two matches before falling to Recreativo at home, 0-1, last week.
The Lineups were as follows:
Hércules CF: Falcon; Juanra, Samuel, Mora, Peña, Diego Rivas, Carlos Calvo, Abel Aguilar, Michel, Callejon and Sardinero.
Barcelona B: Miño; Montoya, Bartra, Sergi Gomez, Planas, Kiko, Rafinha, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Deulofeu and Rodri.
Eusebio now has a definitive starting eleven in a 4-3-3 formation, some minor tweaking not withstanding. This week's adjustment was the appearance of La Masia gem Gerard Deulofeu in the lineup. Kiko Femenia was also in the starting eleven to face his former team, although, he was withdrawn to midfield rather than deployed at the flank of the three prong attack.
As it is with all Barcelona teams, the B team dominated possession from the start, but was struggling to break free of the well-organized hosts. Hercules, for their part, did well to pressure the visitors, trying to force turnovers, which seems to be the strategy du jour to beat Barcelona teams. In truth, the game never really came to life even when Diego Rivas was cautioned and then sent off a minute later, for a hand ball, on a quarter of an hour. Ruben Mino, having been embarrassed last week by Guardado's goal, sought to create some excitement for himself. Mino, who again was way off his line, fouled a Hercules player and was lucky to only be cautioned. As the half drew to a close, it was 10-man Hercules who was pressing forward to create chances. Hercules should have been ahead a goal if not for Mino's heroics. It was scoreless at the half, with Hercules CF playing like the team with the numerical advantage.
The second half started out much better for Barca as Deulofeu started to come to life on the wings. Five minutes after the restart, Barcelona B were ahead. Barca B broke on the counter, Rodri found Deulofeu streaking towards goal with a slide-rule pass and Deulofeu slotted in past Falcon. 1-0 to Barca B, but it wouldn't last long. Two minutes later, a defensive lapse from Barca B allowed Carlos Calvo to fly down the left and deliver a good cross for Michel, who brought the scores level at 1-1.
Barca B finally started to act like they had the numerical advantage, dominating play as opposed to just dominating possession and aimlessly playing the ball. Dos Santos, Rafinha and Rodri, all had chances at goal but were denied by the keeper or lack of composure. Cruelly though, it was Hercules CF who took the lead. Yet another cross, this time from Michel, was headed in by Samuel. The header came as a result of some very bad defending yet again from Barca B.
With time left to play and at a numerical advantage, Barcelona B attempted to level the game, but it was all in vain. Mino even had to bail the team out as Hercules CF hit them on the counter. 2-1 to Hercules CF was the final score.
Barcelona B will try to snap out of their funk next Saturday, as they go home to face Recreativo Huelva.
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