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FC Barcelona: Andreu Cases, Arnau, Vilanova, Cucu (Juanma García, 56’), Montes, Sarsanedas, Theo Chendri, Aleñá, Mújica (Jordi Tur, 88’), Lee i Paik (Carles Pérez, 73’).
FC Midtjylland: Raahauge, Jürgesen, Munksgaard, Murbeck, Pulsen, Nissen, Rutikanga, Duelund (Kirk, 67’), Thychosen, Thomsen (Olsen, 83’) i Anderson (Hagelskjaer, 78’).
Goals: 0-1, Montes pròpia porta (min 34); 1-1, Theo Chendri (min 50’); 2-1 Lee (min 89’), 3-1 Aleñá (92’).
Miniestadi: 643 spectators
The U19 team are through to the quarter finals of the UEFA Youth League. But they had to do it the hard way, coming from behind and only sealing victory with two late goals. Passage to the last eight means a match-up with the winner of Anderlecht and Dinamo Zagreb in the next round.
On a run of five straight wins, this was the perfect time to resume their European campaign, but Danish outfit Midtjylland had been enjoying a fine tournament as well.
The game started with Barça dominating the possession and the visitors happy to sit back and wait for options on the counter attack. They also took a somewhat physical approach to the game, which ended with Cucu suffering a broken nose, although the full back bravely soldiered on, wearing a face-mask before eventually being substituted.
With the likes of Carles Puyol and Danish handball star Noddesbo looking on, the visitors broke the deadlock towards the end of the first half when a Thychosen cross struck FCB defender Montes, who ended up putting the ball into his own net.
Second half comeback
Montes made up for his mistake five minutes into the second half when he supplied the assist for Theo Chendri to strike home the equaliser. That was the boost that the Catalans needed, and all of a sudden the uncertainty was gone from their play and they started to dictate the proceedings all over the park.
Chances fell to Lee and Paik, and as the Danes started to feel the pressure more and more, they also started to lose their cool, with defender Murbeck red-carded for tugging on Mújica’s shirt when he was through on goal.
The home side made their numerical superiority count in every way apart from goals. The game looked to be heading for penalties, especially when Barça too were reduced to ten men when Montes was ordered off following a second bookable offence.
With just one minute left on the clock Lee finally lifted the Miniestadi crowd with Barça’s second of the day, a great finish from an equally perfect assist from Carles Pérez.
There were five minutes of injury time still to play. But any chance of Midtjylland getting back into the game was scuppered when Aleñá collected the ball in the centre of the field and went on a terrific solo run that he completed with a spectacular strike to make it 3-1 and definitively seal Barça’s place in the UEFA Youth League quarter finals.
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