Barça B v Espanyol B: A point apiece in a close game (1-1)

Barça B v Espanyol B: A point apiece in a close game (1-1)

An Aleña goal in the second half was enough for the second string to get a point in a game which they could have won in the final minutes

Barça B have drawn in the Barcelona derby against Espanyol B at the Miniestadi (1-1). A Carlos Aleña goal brought the blaugranas level but they were unable to convert their other clear chances in the second half and had to settle for a point in a fiercely contested game.

Derbies are always tense and tight encounters and the respective league position count for little. On paper, Barça B came into the game as favourites due to their position at the top of the table, whilst Espanyol are in the relegation places. Barça dominated play at the start and Espanyol were stuck in their own half but defending resolutely and looking dangerous on the counter. On one of these forays into Barça's half they drew an excellent save from José Suárez.

Barça, responded immediately with a solo attack from Perea in which he couldn't quite find the finish. Slowly, the blaugranas' control over the game slipped away and it became a more stop-start affair due to regular fouls which desrupted the rhythm of the encounter. At this point an isolated attempt on goal gave Espanyol the lead through Carles Soria's effort.

The break gave Gerard López's side a chance to take stock and they came out with much more purpose for the second half. First, Carbonell had a clear chance to draw level but he sent his shot wide and then Alfaro, who was lively throughout, had another golden chance which was squandered.

Aleña provides the breakthrough

Espanyol kept trying to disrupt López's sides rhythm and Barça looked to be more direct with Alfaro playing a prominent role. Time was slipping away for the blaugranas and they suffered another setback with Marc Cardona going off injured. Dani Romera came on in his place and he threaded a beautiful ball into the box which Aleñá coolly slotted home past the keeper Andrés.

The goal levelled the score and was followed by an assault on Espanyol's goal which was repelled with some back to the walls defending. The 3,031 fans at the Miniestadi, which is the highest attendance of the season, urged the home team on.

In added time, Gerard López's side had three chances in quick succession to grab the winner but neither Aleñá, Romera or Perea could find the finish. Espanyol could also have scored the winner in the final attack of the game but José Suárez came to the recue and the two teams had to content themselves with a point from a hard-fought game.

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