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Segunda División: Mini El Clasico; FC Barcelona B 2-0 Real Madrid Castilla: Match Review

Recap of the Barcelona B Week 5 game against Real Madrid Castilla

Carles Planas
Carles Planas
Lennart Preiss

In what was one of the best Barcelona B games in recent memory the Catalans outclassed Real Madrid Castilla. At the Mini Estadi Barça did all that needed to be done in the first half when in quick succession Sandro Ramirez and Dani Nieto put their team in the lead they would never relinquish.

Starting XI: Jordi Masip; Patric, Sergi Gómez, Ilie Sanchez, Carles Planas; Sergi Samper, Javier Espinosa, Denis Suárez; Joan Angel Roman, Sandro Ramirez, Dani Nieto

Bench: Adrian Ortolá, Joan Campins, Lucas Gafarot, David Babunski, Edu Bedia, Pol Calvet, Jean Marie Dongou

Barcelona B's already depleted defensive corps lost another key member this week. Frank Bagnack will be sidelined for around two weeks due to a left thigh injury. In his center back spot started defensive midfielder Ilie who was paired with Gomez while Planas returned to his natural left-back spot. Eusebio (finally) opted to hand talented youngsters, Samper and Suarez, their first starts for the B team.

Barça B started the game with good pressure, and the Castilla defenders struggled hold the Catalans at bay, conceding three corner kicks in the opening six minutes. Nieto was especially active in the final third, but none of his early attempts tested the goalkeeper.

Castilla weren't completely powerless though. After the opening 15 minutes they started to press forward, and it immediately resulted in a yellow card for Suarez. The visitors then prepared a good scoring chance which ended with Masip making a strong save on Borja Garcia.

However, Barcelona B weren't discouraged by the couple chances they allowed and went quickly back on the attack. In the 24th minute they were rewarded for their good play. Roman fired a good shot on goal, but it was deflected along the way. The rebound fell straight to Sandro who headed it home from close range for his first B team goal.

The youngsters continued to threaten and two minutes later Nieto won a clear penalty for his team. The winger took the penalty himself and confidently beat Fernando Pacheco to double Barcelona's lead.

After the quickfire double the tempo of the game slowed drastically. Barcelona continued to attack and create chances, but without the urgency they showed when the game was still scoreless. In the 43rd minute Espinosa had a golden opportunity to put the game completely out of reach, but he saw his curling effort excellently saved by Pacheco. The goalkeeper also made a good save on Nieto who tried to bury the rebound. Castilla quickly went on the counter, but Borja's shot whistled wide of the post.

The second half again began with no changes, and with Barcelona controlling the ball and creating scoring chances. But despite the constant action in the Castilla penalty box Barcelona B couldn't extend their lead. First Sandro couldn't steer his shot on goal and just minutes later Pacheco produced a good save on Suarez.

Masip, meanwhile, was confident in goal and didn't lose concentration even though he went large portions of the game without being involved in play. After one hour of play Eusebio made the first substitution of the game, replacing Suarez with Edu. Quickly thereafter Samper was substituted off and replaced by left-back Lucas. That sub brought many positioning changes as Ilie moved forward to his natural defensive midfielder position while Planas slid inside to play at center back.

In the 68th minute Sandro came within and inch of extending Barça's lead. Espinosa stole the ball in midfield and supplied it to Sandro who from 25-yards out fired a powerful shot on goal that beat the goalkeeper, but didn't beat the post. The rebound bounced back into the danger area, but no Barcelona player was able to bury it.

With his last substitution of the game Eusebio decided to reinforce the midfield, as Babunski replaced Roman.

In the last 10 minutes of the game Barcelona B were content to defend the lead which allowed Castilla to spend more some extended time in Barça's third. But apart from a couple half chances they weren't able to create anything. And even when the ball went on goal Masip was there to stop it.

The last chance of the game went to Barcelona. Ilie intercepted a pass that was intended for the Castilla goalkeeper and passed it to the wide open Nieto, who seemed surprised by the pass and wasn't able to tap it into the unguarded net. The last shot, however, was fired by the visitors, but once again Masip was there to calmly collect the ball and preserve the clean sheet.

The win brought Barcelona B's season total to 10 points after five games. The win also extended the team's perfect start at the Mini Estadi where the youngsters have picked up all possible nine points. Next up for the Catalan team is a trip to the Nuevo Colombino stadium where they will take on Recreativo de Huelva who have started the season with the same record as Barcelona B.

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