As Barcelona prepare to face off against Álvaro Cervera’s Cadiz, join us as we reminisce Barça B’s victory over the Andalusians back from the 2017-18 season in this episode of The Rewind.
For Culés of old, perhaps the 1-0 victory in the Camp Nou, or the 3-1 win away the same season en route to Barcelona’s second League and Champions League double in 2005-06 might be more memorable, however, in May of 2018, Garcia Pimienta’s Barça B’s youngsters obtained a memorable result in their quest to maintain their status as a Segunda side.
Álvaro Cervera’s side came into the match on the opposite end of the table, boasting a four-game unbeaten run including three draws and a win against Real Zaragoza. Barça B meanwhile were on the brink of relegation, and any result bar a victory in this game would send them straight down to the third division of Spanish football.
The odds were tilted firmly against them, as their opponents coming into the match had already won the reverse fixture with a remarkable performance and three goals to boot.
Despite their poor luck morphing into abject malediction, the Catalans emerged victorious, 3 to 1, following a picture-perfect first half with a brace from Marc Cardona and Matiás Nahuel.
Palencia · Costas · Tarín · Cucurella
Sarsanedes · Rivera · Vitinho
Carles Pérez · Cardona · Nahuel
Carpio · Servando · Mauro · Bijker
A García · Garrido · Álex · Perea
Romero · Barral
The Blaugrana started off the match proactively, nearly hitting the back of the net in the opening minutes of the tie. From the left flank, having skipped past his markers, Marc Cucurella played a low cross into Christian Rivera’s path. The young Spaniard followed it up with a thunderous low driven shot that shaved a coat of paint off the frame of the goal as it went out for a goal kick.
With just over quarter of an hour gone, Barça went into the ascendancy through the least likely of sources; a corner. Following Carles Pérez’ outswinger, Marc Cardona towered well above all in his vicinity and redirected the ball into the back of the net to open the scoring for the hosts. It was only his sixth goal of the campaign but what a time to score it!
The Blaugrana almost doubled their lead via a free-kick just five minutes later. Carles Pérez earned a set piece following a clumsy tackle by Servando Sánchez a few yards outside the penalty area. Cardona took it, but his curling effort lacked the necessary dip to end up in the back of the net.
This mattered not, however, as just moments later, the Catalans scored their second. Cardona was involved in a bit of everything in that game up until that point, and having waltzed through the Andalusians’ backline, a crude and utterly senseless challenge by Lúcas Bijker won his side a penalty. With ice in his veins, the then 22-year-old slotted the ball home to make it two-nil to the hosts.
Cifuentes could not handle the pressure put on by Manuel. (Photo via Imago)
Barça were in dreamland, and Matiás Manuel took them deeper into it just before halftime. Following an objectively poor attempt at a through ball by Ferrán Sarsanedas, Servando left it to his goalkeeper to retrieve the ball given the seemingly low threat level. Little did they know that galloping forward was Manuel, who quickly dispossessed Alberto Cifuentes, created space for himself and curled the ball ever so delicately into the net.
Celebrations erupted in the ground, and rightly so. Barça needed a win, and there, the youngsters had done everything in their power to delay destiny.
Half time score: Barcelona B 3-0 Cadiz
The Catalans were considerably more pragmatic, and far more conservative in the second half in comparison to the first. In the final 45 minutes of the game, they let their visitors take hold of possession, but such was the Claret and Blue’s defensive wall that their neighbours in summer yellow could barely make an impact.
First, through a set-piece of their own, Cadiz nearly got back into the game. From around 30 yards, Alberto Perea guided his freekick neatly over the wall, and unlike Cardona in the first half, with the right amount of dip at the end. The curve on the ball was a tad bit too strong, and to his dismay, it went out for a goal kick.
On the other end and on a fast break, right back Sergi Palencia struck a low shot with great pace and power behind it, forcing a rather uncomfortable save out of Cifuentes. Still out of control and with plenty of bodies surrounding him, it is by great chance that the Cadiz shot-stopper did not concede a fourth, as the ball bounced off Cardona for a goal-kick.
The rest of the half paled in comparison to the first, and it was only until the 89th minute that the net would bulge once more. In a situation almost identical to that of Barça in the beginning of the second period, David Barras forced an uncomfortable save out of Adrián Ortola, and his striking partner Dani Romera pounced on the loose ball, slotting it home from point blank range. It was worth nothing more than a consolation goal, but it brought the deficit down to something more respectable.
Barcelona B lived to fight another day, courtesy of a top-notch performance from Cordona. (Photo via Imago)
Come season’s end, neither club attained their objectives. Cadiz would remain in the Segunda eventually climbing up the ladder in 2020. As for Barça, a goalless draw against Albacete in the match that followed sealed their fate.
Full Time: Barcelona B 3-1 Cadiz
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