Barça cruise to 0-4 win in Huesca

Huesca 0-4 Barça Rakitic Iniesta goal celebration 2014Goals from Ivan Rakitic, Andrés Iniesta, Pedro and Rafinha earned Barça a comfortable 0-4 win over Huesca in the first leg game of the Copa del Rey tonight. The victory leaves classification for the last 16 almost certain where Barça will face the winner of Valladolid and Elche.

Huesca 0-4 Barça team photo 2014Luis Enrique left Bravo, Alves, Piqué, Alba, Mascherano, Busquets, Xavi, Messi, Suarez and Neymar in Barcelona while taking four Barça B players with the squad of whom Munir El-Haddadi started in attack along with Pedro and Rafinha, and Sergi Samper played the defensive midfield role behind Rakitic and Iniesta. Douglas, Bartra, Mathieu and Adriano formed the defence, while there was no chance for Jordi Masip as Luis Enrique preferred to give another game to Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

The midfield pairing of Rakitic and the returning Iniesta proved to be too strong for a valient Huesca side and within sixteen minutes the pair had fired Barça 0-2 up. In the 12th minute Munir was brought down in a central position ten yards outside the penalty area and with no Messi or Xavi to take the kick Rakitic curled his shot brilliantly round the wall and inside the keeper’s left-hand post. Four minutes later and it was Stamford Bridge all over again as Iniesta received a square pass, this time from Rakitic not from Messi, and drove a superb strike, this time past Dani Jiminez not Peter Cech.

Huesca 0-4 Barça Rakitic free kick 2014Despite the evident difference in quality between the sides Huesca must be given credit for playing throughout with the ambition of scoring a goal. Winger Josan was particularly impressive and Huesca managed 14 shots in total to Barça’s 26 though most of the home team’s efforts were hopeful long shots. There was some danger on the Barça goal: Ter Stegen kicked a clearance against the onrushing Guillem and was fortunate to see the ball fly across goal to safety, and the German keeper made amends with a good save with his feet to deny Guillem. Late in the second half an awful sliced clearance from the unfortunate Douglas went straight to Guillem and there was a moment of panic as three attempts were blocked by the Barça defence.

However, throughout the game Barça made occasions at the other end. Rakitic fired another free kick against the opposite post and the Croatian midfielder also had a deflected drive loop narrowly over. Pedro made it 0-3 five minutes before half-time after a short corner on the left came back to Iniesta who sent a quick ball into Pedro who nipped inside past one challenge before shooting low inside the near post.

The second half remained entertaining thanks to both continuing to play openly and intensely. There were appearances for Sergi Roberto and Sandro as substitutes and also for Edgar Ié to make an accomplished 25-minute debut at centre-back. Sergi Roberto began the move that led to Barça’s fourth goal, finding Rafinha who cut inside from the right and beat Jiminez with the help of a big deflection.

Huesca 0-4 Barça Iniesta 2014The positives tonight were mainly in midfield. Iniesta returned from injury and completed the 90 minutes without problem, while scoring a cracker and showing flashes of his class, Rakitic had his best game in a while and demonstrated his dead-ball ability with those two first-half free-kicks, and Samper gave another polished performance which will again draw comparisons with Pep Guardiola as a player. The negative, unfortunately, was again Douglas, in only his second game. I was hoping to say that he wasn’t that bad compared his his game at Malaga but then he gave that horrible pass near the end that leaves one almost wondering if perhaps he is some kind of an imposter just claiming to be a top-quality full-back (surely poor Montoya who couldn’t even get a game tonight, is better).

The first team squad have the day off tomorrow before starting preparation for Sunday’s local derby with Espanyol at Camp Nou.

Huesca: Dani Jiminez; Aythami, Alex Garcia, Carlos David, Morillas; Iñigo Ros, Camacho; Gassama (Sosa m57), Tyronne (Cabezas m62), Josan (Esnaiser m72); Guillem.

Barça: Ter Stegen 6.5; Douglas 5, Bartra 7, Mathieu 7 (Edgar Ié m64, 7), Adriano 6.5; Rakitic 7.5 (Sergi Roberto m64, 6.5), Samper 7, Iniesta 8; Rafinha 6.5, Munir 6.5 (Sandro m76, 6), Pedro 7.

Goals: m12 Rakitic 0-1, m16 Iniesta 0-2, m39 Pedro 0-3, m72 Rafinha 0-4.

Yellow cards: m18 Mathieu, m19 Josan.

Attendance: 8,000

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2 Responses to Barça cruise to 0-4 win in Huesca

  1. Barca4Lyfe says:

    My verdict on players that showed they have what it takes to start in big games!

    1- Marc Bartra (this guy should start ahead of Pique SERIOUSLY)

    I feel a center back pairing of Bartra and Mathieu should be given more opportunities to pair up together at the back.

    2- Among the forwards, Pedro is also my top favorite. I like his direct approach. Hard working player and the fact that he doesn’t dwell or delay the flow of the overall game when in possession. My point here is

    Messi , Neymar and Suarez are all players that dwell a little longer on the ball. Looks to pull players out and take them on. Sometimes it takes a lot of understanding to get all three to compromise in situations and play together as a unit. I see Pedro as a vital facilitator in the attacking trio.

    3- Rafinha – very very gritty… Runs a lot. Decision making will improve upon more game time in the first team.

    4- Samper – steady, very Busquets like player with abit of Xavi in him too. I like his play but it would do him a lot better to improve his intensity in pressuring and aggression in tackling and hassling down the player. A little bit of Mascherano isn’t gonna do any harm, is it?

    5- Sandro. Boy this lad could be really really lethal. Everytime he plays, I smell goals coming in. I would beg to see him play in the Suarez role. And yes if Sandro plays, he can be winged by Neymar and Messi.

    Worst player

    1- Douglas
    While he did supply 3-4 decent crosses he displayed very poor positioning. Was poor in playing his defensive duties. Easily bullied on the flanks. Barca looked like we were a man short in defense in most periods. I would love to try to atleast understand why Montoya is not given a chance.

    Overall my first team choice at current point would definitely be

    Bravo, Mathieu, Bartra, Dani Alves, Alba

    MAscherano, Rakitic, Rafinha

    Pedro, Suarez, Messi

    Subs
    Iniesta
    Xavi
    Busquets
    Pique
    Ter Stegen
    Neymar
    Sandro

    • Barca4Lyfe says:

      My top reason for the midfield choice is solely based on intensity and pressuring. Rafinha and Rakitic can pass the ball …. Perhaps not as perfect as Iniesta and Xavi in their prime… But their intensity, aggression and pressurring is notably better. Don’t miss out the fact that Leo Messi often drops deep in midfield from time to time as well. In this way, we will be adequately creative, very intense and aggressive in midfield.

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