Barça and Ajax have drawn 2-2 in the third game in the UEFA Youth League played on Tuesday afternoon in the Miniestadi.
The game between two of the best youth teams in the world got off to a dramatic start with El Idrissi pouncing on a poor clearance by the Barça defence to put the visitors ahead after just three minutes. Ajax dominated the early moments of the game but Groothuizen’s goal was soon under threat, with Cantalapiedra bringing out a save in the Dutch keeper and then hitting the bar just moments later. But FCB keeper Onana also had work to do when Muric produced a fine shot.
After 32 minutes, a Carbonell penalty on Muric was converted by Van Bruggen. It was all going wrong for the Catalans, and coach Vinyals could only look on as the half ended with Ajax looking more likely to extend their lead than FCB looking like they were going to get a goal back.
Arjona and Chendri replaced Cantalapiedra and Juan Antonio at half-time, but to little avail. Ajax were still getting the best of the chances and Onana had to produce some goalkeeping brilliance to deny El Idrissi. Everything changed on 62 minutes when Leyder was sent off for a second bookable offence and Ajax were reduced to ten men.
All of a sudden it was Barça that were creating all the danger, and after Padilla came close with a header, Enguene finally got the home side off the mark by turning home a Quintillà cross. And with ten minutes to go, Quintillà supplied his second assist of the night, this time setting up Carbonell to make it 2-2.
With just seconds to go, Barça came close to completing an amazing comeback when an Enguene effort was saved by Groothuizen and Carbonell was brought down in the area for what the referee deemed was not a penalty – although many might argue that decision.
The game thus ended two apiece, and that result means that Ajax and Barça remain joint top of the group.