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FCB B-Almeria. PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB.

Incredible match at the Miniestadi to start off the Segunda División season. Barça B, despite taking a 2-0 lead, were defeated by Almería by a eye-opening 4-5 scoreline. The visiting side, a serious promotion contender, were quick to equalise - their first 20 minutes were simple sublime - and they took advantage of Carles Planas’ early red card. The rest of the match was marked by Palans’ expulsion. Deulofeu had a colossal performance but he was unable to avoid the first defeat of the season for Eusebio Sacristán’s team.

Confirming Barça B’s good form

The manager sent out a starting team that featured only one of the new pre-season signings, David Lombán. The Barça B players wasted no time to confirm the good form they showed in the pre-season as they went up against an experienced and technical team. The Azulgranas commanded the ball with confidence and intelligence and the first goal came thanks to a brilliant pass from Espinosa for Balliu, who set up Dongou for the first goal of the match (min 4).

Marvelous aesthetics  

The goal inaugurated a beautiful phase of the match, with both teams showing ambition and intent to win the three points. On 12 minutes, Deulofeu controlled a long pass from Lombán, danced around an onrushing Esteban, to make it 2-0. Almería’s response was as quick as it was devastating. In six minutes, with two plays - one that started on the left wing, the other on the right - Almería had drawn level. Sandwiched by the two Almería goals, Espinosa had sent the ball crashing into the woodwork. The match was a symphony to attacking and efficient football.

Planas given his marching orders on 44 minutes

The initial flurry of attacking football led to an armistice that would last through the first half. Almería had taken its foot off the pedal and Barça B was finding it difficult to reach their opponents’ area. Barça B was dominating ball possession, but the rate of circulation was simply too slow to surprise an entrenched defence. The reserve side was taking risks and were reduced to 10 men when Planas cut short an Almería counter attack with his second bookable offence. Eusebio quickly shored up his defence by subbing off Doungou for Grimaldo.

3-3, a work of art from Deulofeu

The second half couldn’t have started off any worse for the Azulgranas. Three minutes after the break, Soriano anticipated an onrushing Oier to make it 2-3. Barça B had suffered two massive psychological blows. The tension was palpable and the game interruptions grew as time ticked off the clock. The beautiful play in the first half had given way to rocky and laboured football in the second. But Barça B battled on. The equalising goal came from a free kick taken by Deulofeu. From the wing, the forward surprised Esteban with a shot that went into the upper 90 of the goal (min 58). The game was open again, the three points were there for the taking.

Headers decide the match

Almería didn’t want to share the points and sent men forward. Shortly after Deulofeu’s goal, Aarón came close to giving his team the lead but was denied by Oier. The Almería manager sent in last season’s highest scorer in Segunda, Ulloa, as a clear show of intent. The visitor’s attacking flurry pinned Barça B back. Grimaldo, who had the freshest legs on the pitch, nearly gave his side the go-ahead goal. The following play featuring a diving Lombán to clear the ball of the line on the other end of the pitch. It was shootout at the Miniestadi, and in the end, Ulloa was the man who pulled the trigger, with a header that sent the ball into the back of Oier’s goal. The decisive blow came minutes later on a corner kick when Cristian headed the ball in to make it 3-5.

The end of the match brought what one would expect from unruly and chaotic second half. In stoppage time, Deulofeu, with another amazing piece of brilliance, cut the difference in half as he sent the ball into the back of the net from a corner kick. The reserve side almost scored the equaliser on another corner kick, but to no avail. It was a memorable match, albeit stingy with Barça B’s talent and effort.

MATCH STATS

FCB B, 4


ALMERÍA, 5

FCB B: Oier, Balliu, Sergi Gómez, Ilie (Gus Lede, min 71), Planas, David Lombán, Deulofeu, Espinosa (Araujo, min 54), Rafinha, Lobato y Dongou (Dongou, min 46).

ALMERÍA: Esteban, Pellerano, Soriano, Verza, Aleix, Charles, Aarón (Joselu, min 88), Mejía, Cristian, Rafita y Casquero (Azzez, min 56, Ulloa, min 67).

Referee: Santiago Jaime. Red card for Planas (min 44).

Goals: 1-0 Dongou (min 4), 2-0 Deulofeu (min 12), 2-1 Soriano (min 13), 2-2 Charles (min 19), 2-3 Soriano (min 48), 3-3 Deulofeu (min 58), 3-4 Ulloa (min 83), 3-5 Cristian (min 89), 4-5 Deulofeu (min 90)


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