Barcelona B slipped to a 2-2 draw at home to relegation-threatened Girona FC. The youngsters went ahead early on through Rodri, and he got his second nearer to half-time after a fine run by Gerard Deulofeu. Girona fought back in the second half and goals from Benja and Coro ensured the spoils were shared.
After the disappointment of the friendly earlier in the evening it was time for Barcelona B, and despite missing the first 7 minutes thanks to the network picking up the game, it seemed a great place to tune in. Barcelona were keeping the ball well (as per usual) and carving out some chances with their possession.
It was the eleventh minute, and Rodri was receiving a cross into the area, hitting it on the volley with his left-foot and forcing a fine block from a Girona defender. The keeper behind wasn’t anticipating the block, so tried a diving save and when the rebound fell back to Rodri, he couldn’t miss. Slotting the ball into the empty net, Barcelona B were ahead, and deservedly so.
Girona had an opportunity to level soon after, sending in a menacing corner, but the glancing header drifted just wide of the bottom corner. It was a let-off for the youngsters at the Mini Estadi. Carlos Carmona tried his luck from 25 yards with a stinging shot, but it was well saved by Santamaria in the Girona goal.
Again Girona threatened from a corner kick, this time it was down to poor defending. The delivery was average, but none of the defenders could cleanly head it clear, and the ball dropped to a Girona attacker, but the effort was blocked for another corner. As is the stereotypical view of Barcelona and indeed technical sides in general, they could not defend the set-pieces.
That being said, they could create chances in abundance. The interplay was beautiful, and this time it was volley that was deflected into the path of Carmona who slotted the ball home, only to see the assistant raise his flag. It was completely the wrong decision, as Carmona was a good three foot onside.
It would not keep Barcelona at bay for long, as Gerard Deulofeu embarked on a fine run, passing a couple of defenders before reaching the byline and cutting it back for Rodri to fire home his second of the match. It was a superb run and a hint of the future perhaps?
Jonathan dos Santos was booked for an intentional handball before Girona had the last say of the half with a long-range effort, spilt by Oier before the keeper pounced on the rebound. It was a great half, and more of the same please!
Second half was underway at the Mini Estadi and Barcelona B started well yet again. Deulofeu was making a nuisance of himself with his tricky runs, and quick feet, but not only that, he was pressuring the Girona defense at every opportunity. It was very reminiscent of an early Lionel Messi, or Pedro. If he keeps up the work ethic, he will be one hell of a player for FC Barcelona and Spain in the years to come.
Marcos Tebar was the next player to go into the book, and the ex-Real Madrid youth player probably let the moment get the better of him against the side he has been taught to hate. Girona were the first to create a real chance in the second half, but the cross into the box was headed clear by Sergi Gomez. It was a brave header, and he landed heavily on his knee, but was able to continue.
Deulofeu was still causing problems, this time with a cross along the six-yard box, but before Rodri could tap-in his hat-trick it was slid clear by the Girona defense. Gaining possession after that intervention Girona went down the field, played a fine through ball for Benja, and after evading the challenge of Gomez, he cut inside and passed the ball through Oier’s legs into the net. Benja was previously a member of the B team here at Barcelona, and his celebration was fairly muted as a result.
Eusebio took the opportunity to make a change with Rodri making way for Cristian Tello. Girona were on top and this time they sent a cross to the back post to Jandro, but his effort was tipped away for a corner by Oier. Gerard Deulofeu was taken off for Rafinha Alcantara on 67 minutes, but for the life of me, I don’t know why. Deulofeu was always causing problems, but Eusebio must have had his reasons.
Girona were creating chances on will now, and working the ball to the man over on the left, they forced a fine save out of Oier with Nieto driving a shot towards the bottom corner, before the keeper dived across to stop the ball. It was a world-class save, made better by the clear visual impediment his defenders must have caused.
They could not be kept out forever. Girona played the ball over the top (a clear weakness for the B team defense) and despite hints of offside no flag went up. Oier made the save, but this time Coro reached the rebound, went round our keeper and despite the man on the line, he finished it off with an accurate shot off the post. The game was tied, and it was a clear tale of two halves.
The Blaugrana were forced into action, trying frantically to find the winner that would have been only the second home win of the season. Jonathan Soriano had a chance on the counter after a cross by Lobato, but he sliced his volley wide. Unlucky for Soriano, and Barcelona B would try in vain, but no winner came and it ended 2-2 at the Mini Estadi.
Next up is a tricky trip to Murcia. Visca el Barca!