The mini-clásico was reminiscent of the versions that are graced by Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Iniesta and Casillas. There were goals – some of them not very orthodox – there were two clearly defined styles of play on the pitch, there was tension and excitement, and there was controversy. In the end, Madrid Castilla’s efficiency won out over Barça B’s control and patience. The Blaugrana were not inferior to their rivals tonight, but they were made to pay a very high price for their uncertainty at the back.
Madrid Castilla’s efficiency
Barça B controlled the match, dominated ball possession – 70% after 30 minutes – and took the initiative from the first minute. Madrid Castilla, on the other hand, modeled its play on Mourinho’s side and placed more emphasis on direct and vertical play. After 24 minutes, Madrid Castilla were leading by two goals thanks to Juanfran and Cherishev. The two goals highlighted Madrid Casitlla’s devastating accuracy in front of goal and exposed Barça B’s defensive woes.
Deulofeu pulls one back
After 32 minutes Barça B were buzzing around Madrid Castilla’s goal. Lobato and Sergi Roberto enjoyed two clear chances before Deulofeu made it 2-1. The forward’s free kick seemed to be cross for a host of awaiting Barça B players, but instead the ball went into the back of the net as Mejía looked on in disbelief. It was exactly what Barça needed to get back in the game.
Controversial and decisive 3-1
The second half started with a controversial and decisive play. In the first minute of the half, a clearly offside Plano received the ball and beat a distracted Oier. The Catalan keeper, as well as his defence, saw that the linesman had raised his flag when Planas received the ball and thought the play was over. The referee, however, waived the plan on and the Madrid Castilla player made sure to score his team’s third. It was a terrible blow for the Barça B side that had just subbed out Dongou for KikoFemenía. Minutes later, Deulofue – one of Barça B’s most incisive players – left the pitch for Araujo. Sacristán changed out all of his forwards in an attempt to get his team back in the game.
Sergi Roberto makes it 3-2
The Catalans went forward in search for a goal that would put them back in the match. On 65 minutes, Mejía brilliantly saved a shot from Femenía and, moments later, Sergi Roberto scored from the penalty spot to make it 3-2. 20 minutes remained on the clock and tension grew as time ticked ever closer to the 90-minute mark. Madrid Castilla packed men behind the ball and hoped to threatened on the counter. The Barça B players attempted to cut through the forest of legs and bodies but were unable to seriously threaten Mejía’s goal. A terrible collision between the Madrid Castilla keeper and Sergi Roberto – which cost him his second yellow – marked the end of a match worthy of the mini-clásico moniker.