SD Huesca 0-0 Barcelona: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Blaugrana’s Second String Draw Blank

Barcelona’s second-string side were held to an uneventful 0-0 draw in La Liga by basement side SD Huesca on Saturday.

The visitors tested the home side early on as Ousmane Dembele’s effort was saved by Roberto Santamaria, before the Huesca goalkeeper was on hand once more to tip over a Jeison Murillo header from the resulting corner.


?Barcelona’s heavily rotated side dominated possession but looked almost content to hold out for a point which saw them move 12 points clear at the top of the table, as even the likes of Philippe Coutinho failed to have a telling influence after being brought on in the second half.

Here’s our breakdown of Saturday’s La Liga clash.


?SD HUESCA

Player Ratings

?Starting XI: Santamaria (7); Miramon (6), Etxeita (7), Pulido (7), Galan (6); Rivera (6); Avila (7), Juanpi (6), Gomez (7), Ferreiro (6); Gallego (6)

Substitutes: Melero (6), Hernandez (5)

BARCELONA

Key Talking Point

With only Marce-Andre ter Stegen keeping his place from Barcelona’s Champions League exploits in midweek, Ernesto Valverde’s heavily rotated team selection on Saturday was always going to be under scrutiny.

With an 11-point lead at the top of the league heading into the game, Barcelona made ten changes to their team from the 1-0 win over ?Manchester United on Wednesday, with stars including ?Lionel Messi and ?Luis Suarez left at home.


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??Rising star Riqui Puig and veteran campaigner Arturo Vidal ably replaced the likes of ?Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets in midfield as Barça dominated possession as usual, but ?Ousmane Dembele and Kevin-Prince Boateng fell some way short of Messi and Suarez’s standards.

The ball was fed forward to the front two at a plentiful rate, but Barca’s second-string attackers simply lacked the cutting edge, star quality and telepathic understanding which are usually provided by the more senior statesmen in attack. Malcom, too, was largely anonymous throughout the game.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ter Stegen (6); Todibo (7), Murillo (6), Umtiti (6); Vidal (7); Wague (6), Alena (6), Puig (7), Malcom (5); Dembele (6), Boateng (5)

FBL-ESP-LIGA-HUESCA-BARCELONA

Substitutes: Coutinho (5), Alba (5), Arthur (N/A)


STAR MAN – In amongst a heavily rotated side, in which some of Barca’s players struggled to replicate the quality of the players they replaced in Ernesto Valverde’s side, Riqui Puig was the star of the show.


??The young midfielder was full of invention and was composed on the ball, always looking for the incisive forward pass – showed glimpses of Andres Iniesta-esque qualites in his game. At just 19, Puig is clearly one for the future and he has already set about proving his quality.


Looking Ahead

Barcelona are likely to return with a more familiar look to their team as they host ?Manchester United in the second leg of their Champions League quarter final clash on Tuesday, before taking on Real Sociedad next time out in La Liga.

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