As Barcelona prepare themselves to face Real Valladolid, their final away game after a nightmare year on the road, join us as we reminisce the Catalans’ 4-1 win in the Camp Nou from the 2013-14 season in this episode of The Rewind.
While the 5-1 victory in the Nou Camp last season may be fresher in supporters’ minds, Barcelona obtained an equally memorable result in Tata Martino’s solitary season in a match where the locals won by a score of four goals to one.
A Messi-less Barca on the back of an eight-game winning streak won thanks to a sensational individual performance from Neymar Jr, a brace coupled with an assist from Alexis Sánchez on either side of Xavi Hernández’ strike early in the second half.
Alves · Pique · Bartra · Adriano
Xavi · Song · Fabregas
Sanchez · Neymar · Tello
Rukavina · Rueda · Valiente · Peña
Ebert · Rossi · Baraja · Bergdich
Guerra · Ramos
In spite of the clear difference in quality between the two, it was Real Valladolid that hit the back of the net first. Julio Iricibar played an in-swinging corner into the penalty box, and having done a poor job at making his opponent, Marc Bartra could only stand and watch as Javi Guerra’s towering header made its way into the back of the net.
Following his mistake, Bartra took it upon himself to get the equalizer and nearly succeeded in the 9th minute. The Spaniard went on a remarkable solo run from the centre of the pitch and once on the edge of the box, he unleashed a powerful strike that took a stunning stop from Diego Mariño to keep the score at 0-1.
For all their dominance, an equaliser was certainly on the cards, and it came via a sumptuous strike from Alexis Sánchez. With the Catalans on a quick break, Neymar Jr found himself essentially alone in his half. Galloping forward was Sánchez who, once with the ball at his feet, gave the keeper no chance as his scorcher from outside the box hit the roof of the net to restore parity in the match.
It was end to end stuff, and a lack of defensive clarity almost got Valladolid back in the lead. Julián Omar went on a solo run, lacerating the Blaugranas‘ defence with his quick feet. Having spotted Zakarya Bergdich pacing into the vacated space, he played a cutback into the Frenchman’s path, though to his dismay he failed to profit off of the occasion, as he guided his shot wide off the mark.
Neymar nearly got his side 2-1 up after a solo run, however, despite having cut open the Blanquivioletas’ defence, his 3ffort at goal went wide off the mark. Moments later in a similar sequence of events, the Brazilian thought he was tripped in the potty box, however, his claims for a spot-kick fell on deaf ears, as the referee waved play on.
The half ended with Barcelona firmly in control of proceedings, and if not for some poor luck in the final third, they easily could have gone into the break two goals to the good.
Half Time: Barcelona 1-1 Real Valladolid
Given all their efforts in the first half, the Garnet and Blue were duly rewarded with a goal in the 52nd minute. Neymar was once again involved, as following yet another sensational dribble, the Barcelona number eleven found Christian Tello unmarked on the box’s width. The Spaniard made a one-time pass into the box for Xavi into the box, and the World Cup winner tapped the ball into the net to deservedly get Barcelona into the lead for the first time in the game.
Tello nearly made it three just five minutes later, however despite having caught the goalkeeper completely off-guard, his long-range effort bounced off the crossbar and was subsequently cleared by the visitors’ defence.
A third goal was soon on its way, and Neymar once again had his name written all over it. He tore Valladolid’s defence apart for the umpteenth time in the match, and having gotten rid of them, he played a through ball into Sánchez’ path, and the Chilean applied the finishing touch, guiding the ball past a rushing Mariño to make it 3-1.
It was due time for Neymar to get on the scoresheet himself. Barcelona played some of their trademark intricate passing, and at the end of the move Xavi had set up Sánchez for an easy tap in. Owing both his goals to the Brazilian, Sánchez laid the ball on a plate for Neymar, who cooly dispatched his shot and ended the scoring as Barcelona won by four goals to one.
Full Time: Barcelona 4-1 Real Valladolid
The Rewind: Barcelona 8-1 Huesca, 2014/15
While the 8-2 victory from the 2018/19 season is fresher within the minds of Barça’s supporters, the Catalans obtained an equally memorable result in the second leg of their last 32 Copa Del Rey tie. The Garnet and Blue had already ripped the Aragonés in stunning style away from home in the reverse fixture, a game that saw them win 4-0, and were looking to complete the demolition derby at home in a half-packed Camp Nou.
The second tier Azulgranas endured one of the worst halves to a game in their history, as their defence, porous as a sponge, conceded a “manita” by halftime. Pedro, filling in for Neymar in his favoured left-wing scored a first-half hat trick, as goals from Andres Iniesta, Adriano Correia, Adama Traoré, Sergi Roberto, Sandro Ramirez led Huesca to a damning 8-1 loss on away soil.
Montoya · Mascherano · Bartra · Adriano
Roberto · Samper · Iniesta
Rafinha · Munir · Pedro
Antonio · David · Gaspar · Scardina
Manola · Lucas · Sosa · Bernal
Cabezas · Esnaider
Despite the flabbergasting scoreline, Barcelona nearly found themselves on the back-foot early on in the game. As soon as the fifth minute, Chus Sosa played in a sumptuous cross from the touchline into Juan Esnaider’s path. The Spaniard directed the subsequent header towards Jordi Masip’s goal, however to his utter discontent, his effort bounced off the frame of the post and out for a goal-kick.
Having awoken the beast, Barça wreaked havoc on Huesca’s brittle defence, with Pedro opening the scoring. Munir el Haddadi beat his opponent’s offside trap with a perfectly timed run into the half-empty pitch. Once at the edge of the box, he played an outswinger with the outside of his left foot, finding Pedro in the 18-yard area, who scored the subsequent header.
He doubled his tally soon after, as following yet another botched attempt at keeping Barça at bay, the men in white let Pedro of the hook for a fraction of a second, and he punished them accordingly with a smashing effort past Dani Jiménez.
Deputising for Dani Alves, Martin Montoya played one of the Brazilian’s trademark crosses, finding Sergi Roberto right near the penalty spot. The La Masia graduate made the most delicate touch as his chipped effort proved too good a strike for the Huesca shot-stopper even to fathom touching.
Barça were fully in their stride as with a 7-0 aggregate lead, the tie was well and truly finished. With this in mind, they delicately carved Huesca open with pristine passing synonymous with the Barcelona of old. Come the end of the move, Roberto found Iniesta who, with the most fluid of controls for rid of his marker and subsequently tapped the ball past the advancing Jiménez and into the net to make it 4-0.
Barça’s job was just halfway complete, and Pedro added the icing to what was turning out to be a cake adorned with goals of all kinds. Pedro completed his hat trick with a goal almost identical to that of Mohamed Salah’s Puskas winning goal from 2018. It was the perfect strike to cap off what had been a perfect evening.
Half Time: Barcelona 5-0 Huesca
As the momentum was still on, Barcelona kept up the onslaught and ridiculed Huesca even further. Sandro unlocked their defence with the most delicate of through balls, finding Adriano positioned in the opposite flank. With the keeper completely out of his favoured position, the Brazilian took a strike from outside the penalty area, scoring splendidly to take the lead to a whopping ten on aggregate.
With 13 minutes left to play, substitute Adama Traoré, a man of much different physicality then, added further gloss to the scoreline. Just as he does now, he used his quick feet and instinctive reactions to skip post his markers till he ultimately found himself one on one with Dani Jiménez, who was truly helpless to stop the goal going in.
Towards the end of the tie, Javier Mascherano chipped the ball over the entirety of the Huesca backline, finding an on-rushing Sandro in the penalty box. With all the time in the world, he controlled the ball, picked his spot and let out a fierce strike past the keeper to finish the scoring for the Blaugrana.
Huesca got a consolation goal via a Carlos David header, however, it was worth next to nothing, as they were ruthlessly eliminated from the king’s cup by 12 goals to two.
Full Time: Barcelona 8-2 Huesca