Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
NextGen Series 2012-13 Group 1
Mini Estadi, Barcelona
Wednesday 7th November 2012, 5.45pm
FC BARCELONA v SPURS
(Blue/Red) (All White)
Barcelona:- Odora; Godswill, Riera(Quintilla 73), Bagnak, Brian, Samper, Traore, Quesada(Enguene 57), Sandro(Herrera 46), Calvet(Sanabria 46), Babunski(Julio 73).
Unused Sub:- Tienda
Scorer:- Herrera 89
Booked:- Calvet 13(Foul), Bagnak 90(Foul)
Coach:- J. Vinyals
Spurs:- McGee; McQueen, Barthram(Ogilvie 75), Veljkovic, Ball, Stewart, McEvoy(Michael-Percil 85), Bentaleb(Lesniak 75), Coulthirst, Onomah(Dombaxe 58), Pritchard(Winks 85).
Unused Sub:- Priestley.
Scorers:- Coulthirst 25, 29, 61, Pritchard 73
Booked:- McQueen 33(Arm), barthram 52(Foul)
Coach:- A. Inglethorpe
Referee:- P. B. Roca
Assistants:– S. R. Garcia & X. T. Moreno
4th Official:– I. G. Membrane
Attendance – 295
It was a cool afternoon in Spain for the meeting of the top two teams in the group. It was a pity that so few people were here to see it. Both clubs' first teams are involved in European competitions, so that could be the reason for the moderate attendance.
Spurs lined up with McGee in goal behind Ball and Stewart with McQueen on the right and Barthram on the left. Veljkovic sat in front with Bentaleb and Onomah alongside him. Pritchard started up front in the centre with Coulthirst on his right and McEvoy to his left.
Spurs defended the north end in the first half and were quickly put under pressure by the home side and hardly got out of their half. Despite the pressure, Barcelona could not deliver the final ball thanks to some resolute defending. The only chance in the opening half hour was a drive by Sandro that was deflected wide.
Things began to turn when Pritchard, clearing a corner, found Barthram on the right. The full back played the ball past Calvet but was stopped from having a clear run on goal by the player who brought him down. The referee booked Calvet and the free kick was turned out for a corner. Pritchard took the corner and played a one-two with McEvoy before knocking the ball back to McQueen whose centre was headed over by Ball.
Bentaleb won the ball in the middle and played Coulthirst in on the right for a shot that was saved. Veljkovic sent Pritchard away down the right and his cross was met by Coulthirst coming in on the left to open the scoring. Four minutes later it was two when Pritchard released McQueen on the right to cross to the far post where McEvoy was prevented from reaching it. The ball rebounded back across goal for Coulthirst to drive in.
Coulthirst turned provider for McEvoy but his effort was ruled offside. McQueen lost a boot in a challenge and was berating the ref who had allowed play to continue, he went into a tackle holding the boot and was booked for using an arm.
Sandro saw his free kick go for a corner and fired over from the resulting kick. Pritchard crossed to McEvoy at the far post where the young Irishman pulled the ball back for Onomah to volley, only for his effort to be blocked by his own player. McQueen was making attacks down the right flank now and just before the end of the half came inside to draw a save from the keeper.
Barcelona made two changes for the start of the second period with Sanabria missing a good chance early on. Pritchard drew a save winning a corner before Traore got down the right and drew a save from McGee. Traore was beginning to link up with Godswill on the right and when he beat Barthram the full back fouled him to earn a booking. Brian fired the free kick over the bar.
Inglethorpe made his first change replacing Onomah with Dombaxe. Samper hit a loose ball over before McQueen got down the right and played in Pritchard for an effort that was saved. From a corner the ball was played out to Veljkovic wide on the left and his cross was headed into the net by Coulthirst for his, and Spurs', third.
Sanabria played in Herrera for a drive that was saved by McGee at the expense of a corner. From the corner the keeper saved Riera’s header. Pritchard broke through to draw another save for a corner which was played back to McQueen who drove wide. McQueen got down the right and played in McEvoy who pulled the ball back for the advancing Pritchard to beat his marker and score with a low drive to the keeper's right.
That goal prompted both sides to make more changes. Spurs sent on Lesniak for Bentaleb and replaced Barthram with Ogilvie. Michael-Percil came on for McEvoy and the outstanding Pritchard came off for Winks. With Spurs looking to see out the game, Barcelona got more of the ball. Sanabria picked up McGee’s kick and played in Herrera who fired wide of the far post. Sanabria’s next ball in was diverted by Stewart into the path of Herrera who did not miss this time pulling a goal back.
Michael-Percil tried to weave his way through the middle and was brought down by Bagnak who was booked. The free kick by Dombaxe hit the wall and was cleared. In added time Coulthirst was played through and drove his shot low into the net only for the referee to rule it out for offside. It looked a good goal to me from the press box.
This was a very good result for Spurs as after a shaky start they took the game to their opponents and played like Barca to join them at the top of the group. They overcame an eight goal deficiency in the two teams' goal difference only to concede near the end, to give Barcelona a two goal advantage, with both teams on 8 points after 5 games. Pritchard was outstanding and Veljkovic did well and of course Coulthirst took the match ball with his hat-trick which I hear was a perfect one as he scored with his left and right and finished off with his head.
Spurs' last group game is at home to the hard-to-beat Anderlecht while Barcelona face Wolfsburg away. Spurs have the luxury of playing last and will know what they need to do. That of course could give them added pressure.
NextGen Group 1 Table
Team P W D L GD PTS
Barcelona 5 2 2 1 4 8
Spurs 5 2 2 1 2 8
Wolfsburg 4 1 1 2 -5 4
Anderlecht 4 0 3 1 -1 3
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