Zaragoza 0-3 Barcelona - Young Stars Tello, Thiago, Bartra, Montoya Lead The Way

David Ramos

FC Barcelona are one step closer to the La Liga title, cruising to a 3-0 win over Real Zaragoza. Resting players after the Champions League game against PSG, it was the young stars' chance to deliver.

With a goal from 22-year-old Thiago Alcantara and two from 21-year-old Cristian Tello, Barcelona took another step en route to the league title, defeating Real Zaragoza 3-0.

Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba didn't even travel to Zargoza, while Gerard Pique and Pedro Rodriguez didn't play a single minute. Yet, the Blaugrana dominated for most of the game and held on to record a comfortable victory.

While Thiago and Tello will grab the headlines (as well as another appearance from Eric Abidal in his heroic comeback from liver cancer), 22-year-old Marc Bartra and 21-year-old Martin Montoya deserve plaudits for helping secure another clean sheet.

Yes, this was just Zaragoza, a team fighting to move out of the relegation zone. But the future looks bright as the four youngsters continue to add to their resume. They continue to add to the reputation of the conveyor belt of talent at La Masia, Barcelona's academy.

Marc Bartra will almost definitely be called upon in the Champions League semifinal clash against FC Bayern Munich. Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol are injured, while Adriano is suspended. Unless Tito Vilanova fancies Alex Song or Sergio Busquets to move from midfield, it will be Bartra who will start.

That is a tough task for a player barely in double digit career league appearances at senior level, but Bartra has looked the part in limited time against PSG and he did well again today.

For his part, Tello is showing some maturation. Known for shooting to the far post basically always, he fooled the keeper in his first shot, scoring at the near post. Scoring has always come naturally for him, but he's starting to make better decisions and dribble with skill as opposed to pure speed.

With Iniesta and Messi out, it was Thiago who was given the responsibility of dribbling from central positions. In that respect, he was brilliant, creating a goal by picking the ball from the halfway line, driving forward, utilizing a 1-2 with Alexis Sanchez, evading defenders, and placing his shot in the bottom corner.

Montoya, a naturally right-sided player, has done a fine job filling in at left-back and looked even more comfortable today. Barcelona fans are keen to see how he's progressed at right-back as well.

Montoya, Thiago, and Tello will not unseat the established starters quite yet, but they could be included on the bench and brought in as needed more often.

If not, they are first in line to replace any outgoing starters. Until then, they're chipping in to give other players a break. At the same time, the depth of the youth team setup is helping deliver another league.

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