Barça Alusport v El Pozo Murcia. Foto: Arxiu FCB.

Barça Alusport were up against a vastly improved El Pozo side that came close to winning at the Palau but can also feel lucky to have got a point after Barça outplayed them towards the end. Lozano scored a hat trick in one of the best games we are likely to see in the competition.

Difficult opponent

Barça Alusport are a pleasure to behold, even more so against a team like El Pozo, a fixture that attracted a large crowd of 3000 to the Palau. Esquerdinha, Miguelín, Dani Salgado, a brilliant Rafa… El Pozo is not any old team and were keen to avenge their heavy defeat to FCB in the Supercup. Things got off to a hectic start with chances going begging at either end before the visitors finally converted a set piece through Álex.

The goal left Barça stunned, and an injury to Igor didn’t help matters either, with Lin and Saad already unfit, and Saúl soon added to the damage by making it 2-0 to the Murcians. It could have been worse, El Pozo missed a glaring chance to increase the deficit to three before Lozano finally got Barcelona off the mark. It was still 2-1 to El Pozo at the break.

The best of Lozano

Barça started the second half well, but then Esquerdinha scored El Pozo’s third, although the goal probably should not have stood due to an earlier infringement. But then a Kike handball gave Barça a lifeline penalty, which was converted expertly by Javi Rodríguez to make it 3-2.

That hope seemed to have been lost when De Bail extended the visitors’ lead, but Barça Alusport never gave up and a double penalty forced by Javi Rodríguez allowed Lozano to get his side back to within just one goal. The same player was on target just one minute later to bring the game all square at 4-4.

The final moments of the match were gripping, with El Pozo failing to make anything of a three against one attack before Saúl put them back ahead. Carmona opted to go for rush goalies in a desperate bid to avoid home defeat and the tactic paid off when Fernandão snatched an equaliser. In the final seconds, Barça squandered two point blank chances to win the match, but given the circumstances, both teams were probably relieved that this one ended in a draw.

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