Poor first half punished (1-0)
Barça B paid the price for a poor first half against Xerez, going down 1-0 to a goal from José Mari (min 24) that earned the three points for the hosts.
This was Luis Enrique’s team’s seventh defeat of the season, their fourth away, and it
leaves them seventh in the table on 32 points, ahead of the rest of the weekend’s games.
Xerez currently lie fourth and they came into the match on a run of just one defeat in ten –
against second placed Rayo- to take the points with a first half goal from Jose Mari which they
proved able to defend for the rest of the game.
Barça B improved in the second half after a poor first 45 minutes and Nolito’s work
down the left threatened, as did Jonathan Soriano who had a goal disallowed and Edu Oriol, who had
a great penalty shout denied in injury time. To make things worse, Ilie and Montoya both picked up
their fifth yellow cards of the season, which means they will miss next week’s game against
Taking the initiative
Following some early exchanges Barça B started creating the first attacks, but without
causing any real danger until the 13th minute, when an angled shot from Jonathan Soriano failed to
find Chema’s goal.
José Mari strikes
But Luis Enrique’s side started losing control of the game, and were caught napping on
one of the first Xerez forays into their area. In the 24th minute José Mari latched onto the end of
a through ball that found its ways between both central defenders, and his final delivery was too
good for Miño (1-0).
Barça B failed to react, and instead insisted on maintaining their patient waiting game.
Xerez, meanwhile, created enough chances to have possibly made it two, but solid defending kept
them at bay. Barça just couldn’t find a way forward, and not even the tactical switches
between forwards Soriano and Edu Oriol seemed to trouble their hosts.
They did get a good chance in the 35th minute from a Soriano corner, but Saúl, waiting at the
far post, failed to get a shot in.
After the draw
The break did Barça B good, and they came back out with far greater intensity. The play was
considerably faster, with the defence moving up it lines and the lion’s share of the
possession belonging to them.
After just seven minutes, Soriano had a goal very questionably disallowed for offside, but
Xerez were also producing danger, and in the 55th minute Miño turned an excellent Óscar Díaz effort
behind for a corner.
Luis Enrique sought to add new life to the side by sending on Dos Santos and Nolito
for Abraham and Saúl. And it was Nolito who came closest to scoring, bringing out the best in home
keeper Chema on two occasions, while an Edu Oriol strike skimmed the right post. It just
wasn’t Barça B’s day.
Barça B threw everything forward in a last ditch attempt to get something out of
the match, while Xerez were desperate to get a second and settle the tie. Gioda almost headed past
Miño and it looked like Bermejo had scored, but his effort went just wide. Into injury time, and
FCB’s Edu Oriol was clearly the victim of a push in the back when he was through on goal, but
the referee wanted to hear none of the visitors’’ protests. No penalty was awarded and
the game ended in a cruel 1-0 defeat for the reserve team.
Barça B, 0
Xerez CD: Chema, Redondo, Bruno Herrero (Capdevila, min 85), Moreno, Óscar Díaz
(Bermejo, min 67), Gioda, Capi, Cordero, E.Redondo (Héctor Font, min 80), Raúl Llorente, José Mari.
Barça B: Miño, Montoya, Bartra, Fontàs, Planas, Ilie, Rafa (V.Vázquez, min 73),
Abraham (Dos Santos, min 62), Edu Oriol, Saúl (Nolito, min 62), J.Soriano.
Goal: 1-0 José Mari, min 24.
Referee: Lesma López.