Javi Rodriguez had urged his teammates to mark his send off at the Palau with a win and they responded to their captain with a victory that gives them the initiative again in the play offs, ahead of next weekend’s fourth game. Marc Carmona’s team now lead 2-1 in the series and bounced back well from last Friday’s slip up to leave themselves needing just one win from the final two games to retain the league trophy.
The big 5,668 crowd at the Palau Blaugrana gave the captain a standing ovation before the game, whilst his teammates all wore a number 7 shirt with the slogan “now and forever, our captain. Thanks Javi” in the warm up.
Pozo Múrcia take early lead
It was an attacking start from both teams and on 6 minutes, the visitors took the lead after Miguelin rounded off a quick counter attack after good work from Salgado. That was to be the only time that Paco Sedano was beaten, as he managed to stop everything else Pozo could throw at them with some great saves.
A goal down, Barça had to find the formula to break Pozo’s solid defence. Lozano tried with a couple of long range efforts, but Barça were finding it hard to get close to the Pozo goal. Pozo managed to keep their fouls down to five for a long period, but a shot against the woodwork by Igor lifted Barça, who improved greatly in the latter part of the half.
Barça Alusport comeback after the break
Fernandao nearly grabbed an equaliser just after the break, with Lin then scoring soon after, following a deflection from a defender. The Palau really got behind the team now and a great move off the drawing board set up Gabriel to put them into the lead for the first time in the game with a header from an Ari Santos corner.
Things were really opening up now and Sergio Lozano got Barça’s third with a rasping drive. Miguelin saw a double penalty come back off the post and Pozo sent on their outfield keeper, but Barça held firm and kept up their record this season of never losing two games on the run. Lozano rounded off a great second half with his second to set things up for next weekend.
Javi Rodríguez bids emotional farewell
Javi Rodriguez bid an emotional farewell to the Palau as the crowd cheered him off . He stood in the centre circle and waved goodbye to a crowd who have always appreciated him over his last six years at the Club. However, the captain knows that this might have been a goodbye to the Palau, but there is still work to be done next weekend as he and his team mates strive to retain their title.
The fourth game of the play off series is scheduled for next Saturday at 18.30 in Murcia.