Wow, that was fast.
In today's sports climate, most fans can't help but be cynical and with good reason. A player that breaks a record must be on performance enhancers. If a player moves to another team, he must be motivated by financial gains or acclaim. A player that makes a mistake in his private life, is a horrible role model. So when La Liga strike happened, people went to the worst-case scenario. Greed & Pride from both sides was going to prolong the strike, was the general concensus among the public.
So imagine the surprise when after just one week of cancelled matches, an agreement was reached to lift the strike. The details of the agreement are unimportant to most La Liga fans who are simply happy football has returned. Finally, the action on the field is where the attention will be focused on once more.
Speaking of action on the field, had the strike not happened, Barca B would've visited SD Huesca. As it was, they jumped right into the second matchday where they got a visit from the only other B team in Liga Adelante, Villarreal B, who finished 17th last year.
The Lineups where as follows:
Barcelona B: Miño; Montoya, Sergi Gómez, Armando, Planas; Riverola, Sergi Roberto, Carmona; Kiko Femenía, Rodri y Lobato.
Villarreal B: Jorge; Mano, Kiko, Dervite, Jaume Costa; Llorente, Gullón; Kike López, Castellani, Lucas Porcar y Airam.
New manager Eusebio Sacristan debuted with a 4-3-3 formation, with new signings Kiko, Rodri and Lobato forming the three-pronged attack. Interestingly, Jonathan Dos Santos, Tello, and Gerard Deulofeu were not among the starting 11. Pep Guardiola was in attendance at the Mini Estadi looking to see who might be the next player he would promote to the first team.
In typical Barcelona fashion, Barca B possessed the ball early on, but were having trouble finding their way through a compact Villarreal B side. They did find some space on the wings though, as Lobato and Kiko made themselves available with acres of space to run forward. When it came to the final third though, Barca B were often left wanting. Rodri was also making his presence known as the center forward, working his socks off, albeit with meager results. For most of the first half Barca B were restricted to firing long range shots at Villarreal's keeper Jorge, with the exception of one chance when Planas broke free down the left flank. Planas centered the ball for Rodri but he failed to get the tap in and the encounter remained scoreless.
Minutes later though, Villarreal B had taken a shock lead against the run of play. Planas was caught too high up the pitch, Kike Lopez had space down the right, and Lopez put in a perfect cross which was headed in smartly by Airam. 1-0 to Villarreal B.
Kiko was subtly switched to the left side of attack and Barca B looked immediately more dangerous after that. Just before halftime, a ball crossing the face of goal was heading towards Rodri, who fell under the challenge of Kiko Olivas. Rodri appealed for a penalty, to no avail. 1-0 to Villarreal at halftime.
Barca B started off the 2nd half the way they ended the first, pressing forward. In one of their forays forward, they got caught yet again. Jaume Costa charged down the left flank and fed Lucas. Lucas made an easy finish to put Villarreal B 2-0 up in the second half.
Oddly, it was then that Eusebio decided to finally bring in a substitute, Tello for the ineffective Lobato. It had a positive effect and in the 64th minute Barca B had the ball in the back of the net through Rodri. However, Rodri was ruled to be offsides when he scored and so the goal was chalked off. Tello continued his great work and in the 72nd minute won a penalty with some trickery down the left. All his good work was undone though as he skied the penalty way over the bar. Deulofeu and Espinosa were brought on late to try and steal a result but to no avail, the damage was done and Barcelona B's fate was sealed. And just to sum up the day, a ball that broke the offside trap fell to Planas who then hit the bar with just the keeper to beat. It ended 2-0 to Villarreal B, certainly not the start Eusebio was hoping for.
Barca B will look to bounce back next Sunday, as they visit FC Cartagena, who also lost 2-0 to Hercules CF.
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