An unexpected hero and Ter Stegen give Barça three points (0-1)

BarcelonaWith Luuk de Jong as an unexpected hero and Ter Stegen ready to be the goalkeeper who saved points not so long ago, Barça did their homework and left with three points in the basket of their visit to Son Moix after ‘a strange match (0-1). Yes, weird. Why the Barça team, with more than fifteen casualties largely due to the coronavirus, came out to play with an eleven that would have even seemed atypical for a match in the first round of the Cup. Strange for Ronald Araujo. Strange because Gerard Piqué was in charge of kicking the free kick. And, also, especially strange because the search for the goal, the most precious treasure in football, was in charge of an offensive line so unprecedented that if it were not for a pandemic we might never have seen in an initial eleven of the Barça: Ilias Akhomach, Luuk de Jong and Ferran Jutglà; a boy from the subsidiary born in 2004 who had just played 45 minutes with the first team, a Dutchman who is at Barça almost by accident and a third striker who is enjoying the First Division with Barça after Espanyol deny this opportunity.

And the truth is that all three rowed bravely for Barça to take the win against Mallorca, which also had some coronavirus casualties, the most notable of which was that of Take Kubo, a player who went through the squad. of Barça and now plays on loan from Real Madrid to the Balearic Islands. Luuk de Jong was the first to reach the corner kick, but his header was blocked by the keeper. The Dutchman, a signing announced on the last day of the market and in the morning, with the slab of being Sevilla’s third striker and with the only endorsement of Ronald Koeman, had so far had a ridiculous and sterile performance, but in Son Moix he dressed as a hero. Although Manolo Reina was the first to take the lead, De Jong’s boots were the first in the game, and the striker sent the ball to the post after a delicious pass from Jutglà. Not a minute later, however, was when it became clear that the Sevilla-loaned footballer wanted to calm the criticism that had haunted him almost since he landed in Barcelona. The Dutchman hit a Mingueza cross with a very plastic scissors shot, but again his shot hit the post. On this occasion, with the crossbar.

It wouldn’t be until the third, however, that De Jong could show that, despite having a foot and a half away from Barça because Xavi doesn’t have him, he still remembers scoring goals. Just before the break, in a new Mingueza cross, this time on the second post, the Dutchman rose to finish with pleasure an action that had the collaboration of Reina. The Mallorca goalkeeper, apart from miscalculating the output, was completely sold out after slipping. De Jong headed the ball into the back of the net. until the youth category it had played in Uruguay in offensive positions.

New debuts with the first team

The game of playing all the roles of Araujo’s auca would continue in the second half, because if Barça did not have enough casualties, Óscar Mingueza and Nico had to ask for a change, without any apparent injury but if tired and with cramps. in the legs. Clément Lenglet acted as left winger and sent Araujo to the right wing, while Nico was replaced by another player from the branch: Álvaro Sanz, who despite playing the Maradona Cup friendly trophy in December, in Son Moix debuted with the first team in an official match. He would not be the only one, because so did Estanis Pedrola, a young footballer who plays in the subsidiary, precisely because many players in this group are strengthening the first team this season. The 18-year-old winger, signed this summer from Reus, replaced an Ilias who went from strength to strength. Like the whole game in general, with a hard and drowsy second half until the last minutes, in which Ter Stegen (finally) became Ter Stegen again making a great stop to a shot from the mouth of Jaume Costa. The teammates went to hug the German at the end of the match.

Barça return from Son Moix saving a strange match and start in 2022 as it ended in 2021: adding the three points. While waiting for the return of most of the starters, Xavi will sleep a little calmer because for this Barça in transition and evolution, every victory is worth its weight in gold.



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