FC Barcelona Lassa v Helvetia Anaitasuna: Rotations secure another victory (30-22)
The blaugranas, who gave their squad players some minutes and spread the goals around, won once again at the Palau in the last game of the year
FC Barcelona Lassa handball team has won once again at the Palau Blaugrana, this time against Helvetia Anaitasuna. In a game which was close until the fifteen minutes, the depth of the squad and the blaugranas good defence ensured a victory which maintains the unbeaten run. Lazarov with six goals and Ariño with five were the maximum scorers on a night in which less prominent players in the squad took centre stage. Xavi Pascual's team ended 2016 on a high note.
Two Jallouz goals in a row gave the blaugranas the lead which they did not relinquish at any point in the game. With the Tunisian's accuracy and Saubich's goals Barça maintained a two or three goal lead until the 10th minute when the score was 8-5. Anaitasuna kept up with Barça Lassa's rhythm and the visitors often looked to overload in attack by bringing their goalkeeper out as an extra player. This risky tactic kept them in the game but Barça also benefited as when they recovered the ball they could score with ease in an unguarded goal.
The two goal lead at the break meant it was all to play for at the Palau Blaugrana, with 1,002 spectators. When Anaitasuna attempted to level the scores Barça keeper Ristovski denied them. The Macedonian was a calming presence throughout the evening as Barça struggled to open up a wider gap until the final quarter of an hour. Víctor Tomás, with a shot into an empty goal, made the scores 22-17 in the 48th minute.
At this point, the team from Navarra's physical exertions began to tell and the Catalans were able to extend their lead to seven (26-19), with counterattacking goals from Lazarov and Ariño, in the 54th minute. A spectacular double save from Ristovski ensured victory and was a fitting end to a game characterised by a strong blaugrana defence which gave Pascual's team their 14th victory in the Asobal League.