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Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas made 21 saves against Aalborg / FCB Archive

Barça overcame Aalborg with relative ease in the first leg of the last 16 of the Champions League. Coach Xavi Pascual made it clear before making the trip to Denmark that it was the most important game of the season and his players took him at his word. Goalkeeper Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas was the star of the show with a 21 saves, leaving the Danish side with just 11 goals in the game, Barça’s second best showing defensively in European competition. The win gives FC Barcelona a comfortable 20 goal advantage ahead of the second leg in the Palau Blaugrana.

First half dominance

In the first ten minutes keeper Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas made several important saves with Kiril Lazarov at the other end finding the net on three occasions to help the blaugranes into a 6-0 lead. Aalborg called a time out but Xavi Pascual’s side retained their defensive pressure and surged further into the lead with the Danes sacrificing their keeper in search of a solution. Even keeper Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas got in the scoresheet with the visitors leading 16-5 at the break.

The same story in the second

The second half saw more of the same with the Danish side unable to deal with Barça’s pressing and they scored just one goal in the first 12 minutes of the second half. By this time the blaugranes were 22-6 up before a goal from Jallouz gave them their biggest lead of the game at 30-9. Aalborg at least made it into double figures before the end with the final score 31-11 to Barça.

MATCH STATS

Aalborg Handbold, 11

FC Barcelona, 31

Aalborg Handbold: Westphal, Slundt (2), Larsen (1), Tvedten, Simon Jensen (1), Barud (1), Berggren (1) - Erevik, Pedersen, Sagosen (3), Mork, Stig Jensen (1), Engelbrecht, Christian Jensen (1) and Magnus Jensen

FC Barcelona: Pérez de Vargas (1), Tomàs (1), Entrerríos (1), Sorhaindo (2), Sigurdsson (2), Karabatic (4), Lazarov (8, 3p) - Saric, Noddesbo (1), Sarmiento (3), Ariño (1), Gurbindo (1), Rutenka (2), Morros (1), Saubich (1) and Jallouz (2)

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