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This Week in Barça B: Show of Character

A huge comeback in the Mini Clásico could start to turn this season around

FC Barcelona v Gimnastic de Tarragona - Friendly Match Photo by Joan Valls/ Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

After two hugely disappointing draws against relegation candidates, Barça B arrived at last Saturday’s Mini Clásico against Real Madrid Castilla at the Johan Cruyff Stadium under pressure. They needed to show some character and play well, but things didn’t go well for a while.

Barça started the game terribly and quickly found themselves down 2-0 to a Madrid side that didn’t need to do much. Sergi Barjuan’s side looked disorganized and out of ideas, but they found a way to show their character and fight back. And they made a comeback: Matheus Pereira got things started with an incredible strike, and Jordi Escobar scored an equalizer in the 95th minute to rescue a point in an electrifying game.

Even though this was a third consecutive 2-2 draw and they didn’t play well for 65 minutes, something felt different about this one. Barça needed to show character and strength in a big game, and they did it with good football and brilliant fighting spirit in the last half-hour. If they can replicate that formula for most of the games until the rest of the season, they will have a real chance to make noise in the Playoffs.

But they need to get there first, and the terrible form with just one win in the last nine games has left Barça six points away from fifth place. There is still time to make up the difference but the wins must start now, and they have a big game this weekend with a trip to sixth-place Algeciras. Three points are a necessity in that one, and if they follow the Mini Clásico comeback with a big win away to a good team, then things can finally start to get better for Barjuan’s young troops.

After the Mini Clásico, it was time for Barça B to make some transfer business on Deadline Day. They managed to complete the loan signing of former Manchester City defender Alpha Dionkou until the end of the season, and goalkeeper Iñaki Peña will play for Turkish giants Galatasary on loan until June. Barça want Peña to get some first team experience and the youngster is expected to replace Neto as Marc-André ter Stegen’s backup in the main squad next season.