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Cartoon of the Day
July 19, 2014
• Estadio Nuevo Colombino, Huelva
Referee: Jorge Figueroa
• Attendance: 5629
Joan Román 67'
That's all that we have time for, as Barcelona win the Trofeo Colombino with it handed over to Bartra, to mark the start of Recreativo's anniversary campaign. Plenty of gems to be excited about for the Blaugrana, a positive sign given their possible transfer embargo! I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
Ter Stegen had a steady debut, with Halilovic and Dani Nieto shining in the first half. After the break, Deulofeu showed what Barca had been missing after farming him out on loan this season, but ultimately the Blaugrana's pre-season doesn't start in earnest until the international-standard personnel return from their breaks.
FULL TIME! It ends 1-0 in Huelva, with Joan Roman grabbing the only goal of the game for Barcelona against Recreativo. Plenty of positives for Enrique's first pre-season game, with plenty of youngsters staking a claim for a starting berth in later preparatory matches.
DEULOFEU GOES CLOSE! The winger jinks inside from the right yet again, before rocketing a ferocious effort off the underside of the crossbar! Sotres can merely stand and watch, as the ball cannons off the woodwork and clear of the danger zone!
The tempo is slowing as the game comes to a close, with Barcelona happy to let Recreativo play out of defence briefly, before pressing up as a unit. It hasn't been flawless or entirely cohesive, but this Barcelona side has done fairly well. Afellay plays a pass into Bartra, but the central defender tries to chip Sotres as opposed to crossing.
Only five minutes remain, with Barcelona racking up their eleventh corner of proceedings, but once again Recreativo manage to clear comfortably. Deulofeu then breaks upfield and cuts a pass inside to try and find Dongou, but the ball is played too far behind the Cameroonian youngster.
Ter Stegen continues to show real ability with his feet, with the German goalkeeper having a steady debut for his new side. He's previously shown at Gladbach what he's capable of distribution and reflex-wise, but tonight will settle some Barcelona fans' nerves after losing Victor Valdes.
Sandro lets fly from range, but Sotres is happy to watch the ball zip wide of his far post. The 19-year-old hasn't been a focal point of this attack, with the majority of the Blaugrana's threatening forays upfield featuring their pacey wide men.
We're into the final ten minutes, with Barca still keen to break with pace and force the issue. Dongou has been quite heavily involved since coming on, with the youngster boasting real strength and the ability to hold off his man. If only Halilovic had the same physical attributes!
Deulofeu continues to be a willing runner on either flank, acting as an exciting outlet for Barcelona. Should Enrique have deployed Dani Nieto on one side, with Deulofeu on the other, Recreativo's full-back's wouldn't have been forgiven for having nightmares.
Afellay manages to play a smart pass in behind Vega for Dongou to chase, with the young Cameroonian forward squaring a cross towards the penalty spot. Sotres is just about able to grab the delivery.
Deulofeu is released down the left flank, but takes too much time on the ball instead of picking out Dongou at the back post who was in acres of space. He's looked promising, but occasionally he's a bit too keen to beat his man.
Joan Roman finds Deulofeu in space on the right-hand side, with the young winger clipping a cross in to the back post for Dongou to attack. The latest substitute can't quite get there, however, with Jorge Lopes mopping up under plenty of pressure once again and conceding another set piece. It comes to nothing.
Samper is sitting nicely in front of the Barcelona defence, with the additional space opened up by fatigue giving the deep lying midfielder time to pick his passes and make angles. There have certainly been players involved in this contest that Enrique could choose to utilise in his first-team plans.
Twenty minutes left on the clock, with Recreativo now perhaps being left with the task of chasing the game. Should they do so, the tricky likes of Sandro, Deulofeu and Afellay might just be able to exploit the spaces in behind, that is if the former isn't replaced fairly soon.
Dongou appears to be readying himself on the bench for Barca, despite Enrique having already entirely shifted around his starting eleven. Finally, the Blaugrana have their goal, despite arguably looking more offensively potent in the first half. Deulofeu has provided the spark.
Goal Joan Ángel Román
GOOOOOOOAL! JOAN ROMAN FIRES HOME THE OPENER! Deulofeu cuts inside from the left flank, before firing an effort across goal, but Sotres can only parry the ball into the path of the young midfielder. He stabs home a finish to give the Blaugrana the lead!
Molina is played in behind the Barcelona back-line, but Diagne covers across well to block Molina's attempted half-volley. The ball is set back to Zambrano, but the midfielder can only balloon a first-time shot miles over the crossbar from 20 yards.
Vega tries to invite Aitor Garcia down the left-hand side, but the pass was so poor that Patric was always going to be the first man to the loose ball. Neither side has managed to grab this half by the scruff of the neck, with possession being exchanged regularly.
Yellow Card Dimas
Dimas receives the first booking of the night, as the defensive midfielder sending Deulofeu flying, as the former Everton loanee skips past him as though he wasn't even there. Barca certainly have some very interesting wide options for the new campaign.
Half an hour remains for either side to find a breakthrough goal, with Afellay's low drive being the only real chance of the second half. Recreativo's changes have revitalised them somewhat, with their fresh legs allowing them to break upfield quickly.
The hosts enjoy a good spell, knocking the ball around confidently and forcing Enrique's side to do their fair share of chasing. The midfield three certainly aren't as dynamic without Halilovic, with Dani Nieto's pace on the left-hand side also leaving the Blaugrana's attack wanting somewhat.
Jorge Lopes is forced to clear behind at his own back post, turning a Patric cross away from danger. The set piece is whipped in towards the near post, but Dimas heads away.
Dani Molina robs Patric of possession, before Jorge Lopes is penalised for controlling a crossfield ball with his right arm. Recreativo have still got quality on the field despite ten changes at the break, but it continues to be Barca who are dominating.
Barcelona continue to show a few signs of rustiness, misplacing a few passes and surrendering possession unchacteristically often. Given the eleven changes made at the interval, it's likely that Enrique's new personnel will need a while to settle down and grow into the contest.
Deulofeu breaks to the byline on the right-hand side, but Vega stands up well to the winger and pokes the ball out of play. Afellay drives down the left moments later, before stinging Sotres' gloves with a low drive.
A few sloppy touches result in a rather hectic start to the second period, as players chase their poor examples of control into another challenge. Barcelona earn another corner, but Deulofeu's delivery arcs over everyone waiting in the penalty box.
Joan Ángel Román
Munir El Haddadi
Marc-Andre ter Stegen
We are back underway in the second half! Chances were few and far between before the break, but a host of changes means that the outcome of the second period is rather hard to predict! Hopefully, we'll be in for some more entertainment from a new-look Barca!
Barcelona second half line-up: Ter Stegen, Patric, Bartra, Diagne, Lucas, Samper, Camara, Afellay, Joan Roman, Sandro, Deulofeu.
Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes time for all of the second half action, as Barcelona try to start their pre-season campaign in winning fashion. The build up play has been encouraging, but a killer instinct is required for Enrique's side to put a well-drilled Recreativo to the sword.
HALF TIME! Goalless at the break, but there are certainly positives for Luis Enrique! Halilovic went closest with an ambitious volley, as the Blaugrana's young stars grew in confidence as the half progressed and dominated large periods. Dani Nieto has been especially bright, but we can expect wholesale changes at the interval.
Joselu tries to knock the ball around Bagnack and outpace the central defender, but the youngster easily has enough in his legs to coast into possession first. The Recreativo striker has looked very isolated at the head of the home side's attack.
Barcelona's sixth corner of the evening is again met by Ie, who controls and sees a shot deflected behind by a white shirt for another set piece. This time, Nieto can merely curl the ball out of play for a goal-kick. They've certainly camped in the Recreativo half at times, but still have nothing to show for it.
Five minutes until the interval, with Enrique's men continuing to grow in confidence. Sergi Roberto is leading by example as a calming influence in central midfield, while the likes of Nieto, Halilovic and Adama are providing pace and drive from deep areas.
Munir tries to clip a clever pass into the path of the advancing Halilovic, but Menosse slides in to make an important interception. Barcelona are starting to force the issue and lay siege to the Recreativo box, but still the hosts' defence stands firm.
Nieto whips in a corner delivery once again, but Juanan clears for another set piece. The second is fired in, falling to Bagnack on the edge of the penalty area, but the central defender snatches at his effort and fires high and wide! He won't want to see the replay of that.
Another lovely display of skill from Nieto, as the left winger leaves Vazquez and Diaz in his wake, before being felling by Montoro! The referee waves play on, despite there appearing to be contact. If the Blaugrana are going to open the scoring, it's likely to involve Nieto.
A beautiful passage of play from Barca, with Munir and Nieto showing some neat footwork to move themselves upfield. They're growing in confidence, but still haven't quite mustered up the service to supply Munir and Adama with regularity.
HALILOVIC GOES CLOSE! Nieto delivers a corner from the left, with his delivery avoiding Ie, but bouncing towards Halilovic on the edge of the box. The former Dinamo man sizes up the ball, before unleashing a ferocious volley which zips through a ruck of players - but Sotres is able to get his body behind the effort at the near post.
Halilovic again shows a nice example of quick feet, nutmegging Montoro, but the young Croatian midfielder is muscled off the ball as he looks to chase down and collect the loose ball after exiting the trick. He's certainly got the technical ability, but perhaps needs to bulk up physically.
Adama drives inside from the left, ghosting past two challenges before falling to the ground and reservedly asking for a penalty. Babunski picks up the scraps and is also felled, but again the referee isn't interested. Moments later, Montoya arrives late on the right-hand side, but curls his long-range effort wide of the target.
Barca's back four continue to look a little bit nervy in possession, over-hitting some passes and occasionally playing the ball straight out of play. That said, Ie's forays forward have resulted in a couple of reasonable lofted through balls.
As we edge towards the half hour mark, neither goalkeeper has been forced into anything other than a hurried clearance or a comfortable claim. Much of the play has taken place in the midfield third, with Barca more than happy to move the ball from side to side, probing for gaps.
Koke delivers a cross to the near post from the left flank, but Masip is easily able to get to the ball and claim. Barca then break upfield, with Adama winning a corner off the recovering Tono - however Nieto curls the delivery straight out for a goal-kick.
Sergi Roberto gets an important touch to skip around his marker and sweep play out to the left-hand side, as another crossfield pass is nearly cut out by Recreativo's pressing personnel. The hosts haven't looked too bad thus far, they're fairly well organised.
Montoya gives the ball needlessly away to Joselu, but Grimaldo covers across well to spare his teammate's blushes. The left-back manages to get a foot in to steer a pass back to Masip, before the young shot-stopper hoofs upfield. A few little mistakes from the Barca back-line thus far, as it appears Montoya was unsighted.
Nieto whips a cross in towards the back post, but Tono is able to cushion a header back into the arms of Sotres. The majority of Barca's threatening attacking play continues to come down the left-hand side.
Nieto tries to whip a free-kick effort inside the top right hand corner, but Sotres is comfortable enough to watch the ball fly into the stands behind his net. Still no real chances for the Blaugrana as of yet. Although, Halilovic does look a phenomenal prospect.
Montoya makes a timely interception before breaking upfield, before shifting the ball into the feet of Adama. The young forward looks to turn inside, but is robbed of possession by the recovering Vazquez. Moments later, Halilovic is brought down unceremoniously after a wonderful few touches.
The opening 15 minutes have been promising from Barca, but Munir and Adama have seen very little of the ball, with Sotres only called into action for routine contribution to the game. Despite retaining the ball, Enrique's young charges are looking a little bit toothless at the moment.
Halilovic manages to earn himself half a yard of space deep in midfield to pick a pass and he places the ball in between Diaz and Menosse. Nieto tries to steal in behind the Recreativo back-line, but Sotres is quick off his line to hoof the incisive pass clear.
Ie looks to lift a through ball over Victor Diaz, but the Recreativo right-back manages to rise high enough to head the danger clear. Nieto is looking bright in the early stages, always positive and trying to get in behind his full-back.
Sergi Roberto tries to wriggle his way away from Jesus Vazquez's presence, but the Recreativo captain is deemed to have unfairly brought down his opposite number. Enrique's men are seeing the lion's share of possession, but the hosts are holding their shape and picking their moments to commit players forward.
Halilovic picks up on a loose ball, before gliding past the first man in his path and sliding a poorly weighted pass into the path of Nieto. Adama is then penalised for a lunging tackle which clips the toe of his man.
Dani Nieto cuts inside from the left-hand side, before nutmegging Victor Diaz and breaking to the byline. He tries to cut back a cross, but sees the ball turned behind for a corner. Bagnack rises highest to meet the set piece, but can only steer his header into the grasp of Sotres.
The opening five minutes have passed without much in the way of incident, as Barca look to keep hold of the ball and control the game. Recreativo are looking to break upfield quickly and play one-touch passes when possible, which could hurt the Blaugrana should they commit too many men forward.
As predicted, Enrique's side looks to keep hold of the ball, but there might be a few nerves involved. Grimaldo takes a poor touch, running the ball out of play under no pressure. The Blaugrana might need ten minutes to settle down and calm themselves.
Joselu fires way wide of the left-hand post, as Recreativo achieve the first attempt of the game. Barca's defence gives the ball away twice in the opening two minutes, as the hosts look to disrupt patient build-up play.
We are underway in the first half! Barcelona will kick off pre-season in their new away kit, while Recreativo look to mark their anniversary season with a win over more prestigious opposition. That means that the Blaugrana are donning bright orange, while the hosts are in their famous white.
Ten minutes remain before kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of the action from Recreativo's new stadium, as a new-look and youthful Barcelona side look to start pre-season in the best possible fashion. It certainly won't be easy, given that certain players might not quite be up to speed in a match situation, but this evening certainly provides a platform for individuals to prove their worth to their new coach.
Barcelona substitutes: Ter Stegen, Bartra, Deulofeu, Afellay, Patric, Lucas, Samper, Diagne, Camara, Sandro, Roman, Dongou.
New goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen will presumably be given 45 second half minutes to show the Barca support what he's capable of, while Sergi Roberto captains the Blaugrana. Fitting, given the integral role the central midfielder played under Luis Enrique when the former Celta Vigo boss was at the helm of Barcelona B. Gerard Deulofeu, widely touted to start, will also be given a run out at some point.
Barcelona starting line-up: Masip; Montoya, Edgar Ie, Bagnack, Grimaldo; Halilovic, Sergi Roberto, Babunski; Munir, Adama, Nieto.
Recreativo starting line-up: Sotres; Victor Diaz, Menosse, Juanan, Tono; Jesus, Montoro; Nunez, Jorge Larena, Koke; Joselu.
TEAM NEWS: Despite training with the squad, Bojan is left out as the attacking midfielder looks to make a move away from Barcelona, with Rafinha similarly missing out through a minor niggle picked up during a session. Adriano is sidelined for between four to six weeks, meaning that Enrique takes a total of 16 Barca B players to Huelva. The starting eleven has a youthful vibrancy, with new Croatian signing Alen Halilovic starting in midfield.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you fully up to date with all of the action from Estadio Nuevo Colombino, as a mixture of bit-part players and youngsters face Segunda Division side Recreativo. Jose Luis Oltra's men finished only two points outside of the play-offs last season, meaning that the Blaugrana should have a competitive start to their preparation.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Barcelona's pre-season friendly against Recreativo, in Huelva, as Luis Enrique looks to gather momentum ahead of the new La Liga campaign. Plenty of first-team players are still on extended breaks following the World Cup this summer, but the onus is probably on the new coach and how he plans to bring trophies back to Camp Nou.
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