Barça B beat Cartagena at the Miniestadi in a terrific showing by Luis Enrique’s team. Jonathan Soriano and Nolito (2) got the goals in the reserves’ first home win for three months.
Photos: Àlex Caparrós-FCB.
Barça B, 3
Barça B: Miño, Dalmau (Armando, min 72), Bartra, Fontàs, Dos Santos, Thiago, Rafa
(V.Vázquez, min 61), Edu Oriol (Tello, min 69), Nolito, J.Soriano.
FC Cartagena: Casilla, Clavero, M.Sánchez, Chus Herrero (Goiria, min 46), Botelho,
Longás, Cala, Toni Moral (Lafuente, min 71), Víctor, Rodri (José Carlos, min 46), Pablo Ruiz.
Goals: 1-0, J.Soriano (min 19); 2-0, Nolito (min 67); 3-0, Nolito (min 93).
Referee: Alejandro Hernández Hernández.
Luis Enrique said before the game that he wanted to see his side win at home again, and he got his
wish, in the act making up for the 5-1 trouncing at the hands of the Murcian club earlier this
season. Barça B had not won at home since November 2010 and had only won 10 of the last possible 36
But they were convincing today against the seventh placed club in the
second division. Juan Ignacio Martínez’s side were controlled out of the game, especially in
the first half, and Barça B created chance after chance, with goals eventually being delivered by
Soriano (min 19) and Nolito (min 67 and 93).
Youth player Albert Dalmau got his first start for Barça B, teaming up alongside the
Alcántara brothers, Thiago and Rafa, the latter on his 18th birthday. Jonathan Dos Santos was the
other member of a deadly midfield that forced Cartagena back into their own half for much of the
Piling on pressure
Thiago Alcántara almost scored from an opening minute header, a forewarning of a wonderful
first 45 minutes for Barça B, who played like the first team, swallowing up the possession and
delivering deft first touch football that led to such occasions as one for Jonathan Soriano, which
ended up going just wide.
Soriano set the pace
The side from Murcia could only trouble Luis Enrique from a free kick
from the edge of the area, which Miño turned behind for a corner. For a while, Barça B were forced
to weather a Cartagena storm, but that soon ended with the first goal in the 19th minute. Thiago
Alcántara broke on the counter and found Nolito, who then laid the ball on for Soriano to beat
Casilla with an angled shot.
Without giving the Murcians the chance to get their breath back, Nolito went one on one with
Casilla, but was beaten by the keeper. Barça B were well in control by this point, and the defence
has very little to deal with, and dealt with that little in expert fashion, with Miño only being
called upon once to save a devilish strike from Víctor just before the break.
Cartagena came out with new life in the second half, and for the last 45 minutes Barça B were
far less dominant. Dalmau was forced to make a last ditch tackle straight after the restart, Cala
came close with a header and Toni Moral squandered what really should have been the equaliser.
Barça B needed a goal, but it was Cartagena that looked more like scoring.
Nolito bags a brace
All that changed in the 67th minute when Nolito rounded two defenders
and slotted the ball home to make it 2-0. That was a huge boost to morale, and the reserves once
again had the game under their control. Tello had four chances to make it three, but the third and
final goal didn’t arrive until injury time. It was Tello was set it up with a blistering run
and an assist to Nolito, whose goal made certain of the first win at the Miniestadi for three
Moving on up
The result leaves Barça eighth in the table with 35 points, the same as today’s
opponents Cartagena. That means they are just 15 points short of the 50 or so required to avoid