Osasuna 2-2 Barça: Late equaliser denies victory at El Sadar

Osasuna 2-2 Barça: Late equaliser denies victory at El Sadar

Chimy Ávila goal minutes from the end mean frustration after both Nico and Abde had shot the Catalans into the lead

Following a disappointing week, Sunday at El Sadar was a promising opportunity for FC Barcelona to collect three important points, but despite taking the lead twice, they will be returning from Navarra with just one and have slipped down to eighth in the league table.

With the first team so decimated of late by injuries, there was plenty of youth in Xavi Hernández’s team. Not one but two teenagers both scored their very goals for the club on a day also saw Ferran Jutglà come on for his first team debut.

Nico’s first

The first of the two youngsters to score was Nico. A neat through ball from Gavi produced a goal from nowhere as the 19-year-old controlled the ball nicely and slotted home.

But the celebrations were short lived. Xavi had warned us before the game that one of the biggest dangers where Osasuna are concerned is dead ball situations. And we got proof of that when David Garcia got his head on the end of a free kick from the right.

Fifteen minutes into the game and both sides had scored.

With Samuel Umititi getting his first game of the season and Luuk de Jong the lone striker, Barça certainly looked to be the side on top, but despite the relentless pace of the action there would be no further scoring until the other side of half time.

Teenage kicks

Osasuna were busy protesting a possible Sergio Busquets handball at one of the end of the pitch when the Catalans broke quickly and scored at the other. Ousmane Dembélé lofted the ball in and Ez Abde was there to crash it into the net.

The second teenager of the day had claimed his first goal for Barça… and at the same ground where both Ansu Fati and Ilaix Moriba also scored their maiden goals for the club.

Whatever it is about El Sadar and Barça youngsters, it’s something very nice indeed!

Late agony

Against a side that had only scored twice in their last seven games and had only won once at El Sadar all season, Barça looked good value to go on and collect the three points.

But towards the end of the game, there was a resurgence from Osasuna. Their insistence paid off in the 86th minute when Chimy Ávila drove in from the edge of the area.

It was a frustrating way for things to end, very much summed up by Xavi’s post-match comments: “Leading 2-1 we should have kept hold of the ball and we didn’t. We allowed ourselves to suffer too much. We should have killed the game and played the football in the opposition’s half. We didn’t do that. Nothing was working.”

Following Tuesday’s friendly with Boca Juniors, the next Liga challenge for FC Barcelona is Elche at the Camp Nou on Saturday (6.30pm CET).

Gerard Piqué, who will miss that game through suspension, added that “I think we played well. We competed at a tough ground ... It’s such a shame because the game was a good one considering how things have been going recently. We got a point but we’re not at all happy with the result. We need to get three points every game.”


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