FC Barcelona U19 - Apoel U19: Defending champs start strong (3-0)
FC Barcelona opens Youth League by racing to victory against APOEL Padilla, Moha and Juanma put the match away in 17 minutes
FC Barcelona's U19 team opened its second season in the UEFA Youth League and cruised to a 3-0 victory against APOEL at the Miniestadi. The defending European champion put the match away early, scoring all three goals in the first 17 minutes.
Although the team had been having some difficulty putting the ball into the net in Liga play, they couldn't have opened the Youth League in a better way. After three minutes they had already managed two goals. Isaac Padilla opened the scoring by finishing a beautiful passing combination from Kaptoum and Enguene. A minute later Moha capitalised on an unfortunate miscommunication between APOEL's goalkeeper and defensive line.
The quick start gave Barça a burst of confidence while APOEL grew only more uncomfortable, especially on defence. Barça took advantage and spent virtually the entire match on attack. In the 16th minute Enguene's free kick hit the crossbar and seconds later on another free kick Juanma made it 3-0. From then on the match was comfortably in their control.
Barça threatened to up the score throughout the match but was unable to do so. In the 38th minute APOEL goalkeeper Tasouris made an outstanding stop on Aitor, who watched as his ball was miraculously knocked away. Despite the furious pace of the opening minutes, the rest of the match slowed down considerably. Barça dominated in the second half too but was unable to penetrate as deeply.
The team continued to push hard towards the end of the match but lacked passing precision especially closer in on goal. APOEL spent almost the entire match on it's own side, only managing occasional counterattacks that were easily stopped by Barça.