Barça 39-30 Celje: 2023 ends on a high in Europe

Barça 39-30 Celje: 2023 ends on a high in Europe

The blaugranes overcome the Slovenians as Oriol Zarzuela shines on his Champions League debut

The final Champions League game of 2023 went according to plan, as Barça overcame Celje 39-30. After a fantastic first half, the blaugranes dominated a game that young Oriol Zarzuela will remember as he made his debut in the premier European competition.

Tone set from the start

The blaugranes wanted clearly wanted to end the year with a win as Carlos Ortega's came out strongly against the Slovenian side. The visitors' resistance soon cracked as Gonzalo shored up the defence and Dika Mem and Carlsbogard helped to score four goals in 15 minutes. Barça simply punished their opponents in the first half, going in eight goals up at the break (21-13) but they had to wary of a fight back.

First big European night for Oriol Zarzuela

Mitja Janc arrived at Palau as the competition's top scorer, but he didn't score until after break, such was the blaugranes' intensity in defence. However, Celje managed to claw back within six goals but no more than that, thanks in part to a player making his debut in Europe, Oriol Zarzuela.

The Catalan made the most of his chance with four goals, playing a starring role in the second half, as Barça managed the game well to press home their first half advantage. A goal by Richardson ended the game, his ninth of the match from nine attempts.

Other results go in favour

So, two more points for the blaugranes, and even better, Veszprem lost away to Wisla, meaning the lead over the Hungarians is now four points, who are in third, which doesn't confirm a place in the quarterfinals. Now time to end 2023 with two wins in La Liga, in Huesca (10/12) and at the Palau against Puerto de Sagunto (12/12).

Game stats

Barça: 39
Celje: 30

Barça: Pérez de Vargas (0), Aleix (2), Dika Mem (3), Richardson (9), Frade (6), N'Guessan (0) and Wanne (5) - starting seven - Carlsbogard (4), Pol Valera (1), Gallego (2), Ariño (2), Petrus (0), Zarzuela (4), Langaro (1) and Cikusa (0).

Celje: Zaponsek (0), Cokan (8), Krecic (3), Ivankovic (7), Janc (6), Mazej (1), Cirovic (0) - starting seven - Mesarec (0), Zabic (1), Peric (0), Antonijevic (2), Maric (1), Milicevic (0), Korze Lesjak (0) and Rakita (1).

Partial scores: 3-3, 7-5, 12-7, 15-9, 18-10, 21-13 / half-time / 23-16, 26-18, 31-23, 33-26, 36-29, 39-30.

Referees: Karim Gasmi and Raouf Gasmi

Força Barça
Força Barça

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