After missing out on many starters like Ansu Fati, Puig, Guillem Jaime, Collado, Chumi, Kike, Abe, Garcia Pimienta and his team edged off past Badajoz in a nervy penalty contest to reach the finals for the Segunda B promotion playoffs.
Pimienta placed his usual 4-3-3 with Konrad De La Fuente taking up the left-wing and the Brazilian Matheus Perriera taking the right.
Badajoz placed a compact 4-4-2 with the midfielders being instructed to have men oriented press and stop Barcelona’s progress from the midfielder.
Since Konrad and Akieme were the creative forces, Barcelona majorly focused on long balls on the left wing to both of them via Jandro. The opposition sat deep and took their chances during the transition. Their goal was also from the transition when Monchu lost the ball with Badajoz forwards scored the goal in 2v3 situation.
Basic defending rule. During 3v2 defending, at least one of the player showed cover their body parallel to the non ball player. This way the ball carrier can be destabilised either by gk or defenders. https://t.co/UAqVoaM2JM
— Sahil Dani (@cdsahildani) July 23, 2020
In the first half, Konrad and Monchu had their chances, but somehow they were unlucky to tuck it inside. Later on in the match, Badajoz went deeper with midfield and defence lines leaving near to no space in between the vertical spaces. Now, Barca defenders and midfielders weren’t pressed as such in the first and second phase.
This time Barcelona were using different ways to make a central impact on the final third. Due to no progression from the central areas, Barca was forced to cross the ball from a wide area in the hope that someone might win the aerial duel and score. That’s when Manaj scored the equalizer. Konrad gave a cross from cutback region with Manaj unmarked, who tucked it home.
Brilliant assist from Konrad. Rey’s header draws Barça B's equalizer https://t.co/u3Am2dfEE2
— La Masia Times™ (@LaMasiaTimes) July 23, 2020
With the equalizer, the match went into the extra time. The team looked tired and exhausted, but somehow they were able to save the net and stretched the game into the penalty shootouts.
In the penalty shootouts, Barca B boys scored all of the five penalties with Badajoz player Morgado missing the only the penalty, and hence Barca B reached to the finals.
Barca B will now face Sabadell who confirmed their win against Cultural Leonesa and both Barca B and Sabadell will now face each other on Sunday. Tomorrow a draw will take place to announce stadium and time for the two finals both playing on Sunday. If Barcelona B wins the promotion, then all the credit should go to Garcia Pimienta who worked effortlessly to mould the La Masia boys and achieving such an incredible feat.