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Segunda División: FC Barcelona B 2-2 Sporting Gijón: Match Review

Review of Barcelona B's two-all draw with Sporting Gijon

David Ramos

Thanks to a brilliant free kick in added time by Edu Bedia Barcelona B were able to secure a point against a high-flying Sporting Gijon side, who got a pair of goals from Serbian striker Stefan Šćepović. Antonio Sababria was the other goalscorer for Barça B.

Starting XI: Adrian Ortola; Patric, Sergi Gomez, Ilie Sanchez, Carles Planas; Sergi Samper, Javier Espinosa, Edu Bedia; Denis Suarez, Antonio Sanabria, Dani Nieto

Bench: Miguel Bañuz, Lucas Gafarot, Frank Bagnack, Pol Calvet, David Babunski, Joan Angel Roman, Adama Traore

It's been quite some time since I was able to watch a B team game and let me just say that in the meantime Eusebio hasn't changed one bit. Surprise, surprise... For some reason he keeps on playing Ilie Sanchez in the heart of the defense even though he has the exciting Frank Bagnack sitting on the bench.

Barcelona B started the game strong and quickly created a scoring chance through Planas, who sent a great cross to Sanabria in the middle, but the Paraguayan international couldn't finish off the play. In the sixth minute poor play in their own penalty box almost cost Barcelona a goal. Ortola attempted a clearance and completely misjudged the ball which fell straight onto Bernardo Espinosa's head, who was unable to bury it into the open net.

Sporting continued to play dangerous football, and in the 13th Šćepović had his first go at the goal, but Ortola did well to stop the header. However, two minutes later Ortola had no chance of stopping the Serb from scoring. A breakdown in defense left two Sporting players, Álex Barrera and Šćepović, behind the defense. The midfielder supplied a perfect low cross to the striker who was left with a simple tap-in finish to put the visitors in the lead.

That served as a bit of a wake up call for the youngsters as they started to push for an equalizer. Suarez was looking especially lively in attack for Barça B, and it was the former Manchester City player that nearly leveled the score in the 20th minute with a long range effort that forced Iván Cuéllar to make a good save.

Eventually, Suarez was indeed involved in the play that led to the tying goal. In the 33rd minute he started the play with a good run down the left side and found the onrushing Planas in the middle. Forced wide, Planas made an excellent pass to Sanabria who tapped the ball into the open net for the equalizer.

For the rest of the half Barcelona B struggled to create anything that resembled a scoring chance. Only Nieto was able to get a couple shots off from outside of the box, but neither threatened the goalkeeper.

The last chance of the half went Sporting's way as the blaugrana defense allowed another through ball. Barrera was again played behind the defense, but he was hassled enough by Ortola that he was forced wide and had nothing to shoot at. His back pass, however, presented a good chance to Šćepović, but his shot was well blocked by Ilie.

During halftime neither team made any changes. Gijon started the second half as the more dangerous team as the Barcelona B players looked lost on the pitch once again. Somehow, though, one of the most prolific offenses couldn't really break down one of the worst defenses in the league. In fact neither team was able to generate much in the second half, but the visitors always looked more likely to score.

Halfway through the second half the always exciting Adama was brought on the pitch to replace Nieto. Ten minutes later, in the 78th minute, Eusebio completed his second, and as it turned out last substitution, as he replaced Espinosa with Roman.

From the moment when Adama entered the pitch Barcelona looked more dangerous in attack. The youngsters' talent were especially noticeable in the 83rd minute when he dribbled in stunning fashion past three defenders. Sadly his ensuing cross wasn't met by Sanabria because that would've been a truly special goal. Three minutes later Suarez went on a run of his own and was brought down on the edge of the box for a dangerous free kick, however, he couldn't direct it on goal.

But a Barcelona B game wouldn't be complete without a goal allowed in the final five minutes of the game. So, in the 88th minute after some more terrible reactions by the Barcelona B defense to a high cross, Šćepović finished the play off and seemingly added another loss to Eusebio's coaching career.

However, Barça B won a free kick in a dangerous spot two minutes into added time. Edu stepped up and curled a brilliant shot just inside of the post to secure his side a point. The youngsters didn't deserve to lose this game and thanks to Edu's effort they weren't left empty-handed.

In the third minute of added time Barça B had one last chance to steal a win from the jaws of defeat, but the long range free kick didn't connect with a B-team player in the box, and the referee blew for full time. With the B team barely staying above the drop zone this is a much needed point for them.

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