The U19 team has got off to the perfect start in the 2017/18 Youth League by beating Juventus 1-0 at the Miniestadi. It was a tough game against a rock-solid Italian side, and the visiting defence wasn’t beaten until Carles Pérez converted a free kick ten minutes from the end.
Both sides seemed to take a caution-first attitude early on, but Riqui Puig and Collado led the more ambitious Barça approach, as they tried to find ways to deal with the deep Juventus pressure. Long balls and runs up the wing from Miranda seemed to be the most effective answer, but the forwards were not having the best of days up front.
Juve opted for the counter attack, and came closest when Di Pardo struck the crossbar, the nearest we came to a goal in a first half although it was the Catalans that were getting most of the chances.
Carles Pérez came on at half time and immediately upped the pace of the encounter. Barça were more dangerous than ever and Juventus were being forced further and further away from the net defended by Iñaki Peña.
Monchu shot narrowly over the bar as Barça pressed more and more, but there was always the danger of being caught at the back. That very nearly happened when a mis-timed clearance was fortunately not exploited by the black-and-whites.
Barça wouldn’t give up, and finally got their reward thanks to a moment of class from Pérez, who burst down the wing and finished in exquisite fashion to finally beat the impressive visiting goalie Del Favero.
From then on, it was case of holding onto to that lead, something that was done expertly and meant Gabriel Garcia’s side could celebrate the first three points of their quest for European glory.