Ronald Koeman opted for a brand new pairing in the centre of defence against Valencia: Ronald Araujo and Òscar Mingueza. Brand new for the first team anyway... the duo were already plenty used to playing along aside each other for Barça B, and last night they got to move their double act to the bigger stage. And they did a grand job of it too!
Born just two months apart in 1999, they first played in defence together in 2018/19 in a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Espanyol B. But that was the only time they have ever lost while playing alongside each other.
They went on to win six and draw three of the games played side-by-side, and added another win at senior level against Real Sociedad. Both posted excellent performances, with only Jordi Alba winning more balls.
Araujo and Mingueza have won their last five games together. They beat Castellón (2-1), La Núcia (3-1), Espanyol B (2-0) and Badalona (2-0) with the reserves, and have now added Real Sociedad to their list of scalps. May the run continue…