BIIK Kazygurt v FC Barcelona: A draw that could have been more (1-1)

The women celebrate a goal against Valencia / VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB
A controversial equaliser denies the women a win in Kazakhstan, but things bode well for the second leg


BIIK Kazygurt: Zheleznyak, Zholchiyeva (Babshuk, min 90), Krasyukova, Gibba, Myasnikova, Roseboro, Nwabouku, Adule, Woods, Litvinenko (Mosivais, min 64), Gabelia (Zhanatayeva, min 90+12)

FC Barcelona: Paños, Torrejón, Bergara, Ruth, Landa, Melanie (Hernández, min 76), Unzué, Diéguez, Latorre (Guijarro, min 67), Hermoso, Olga (Gili, min 90).

Goals: 0-1 Ruth García, min 57; 1-1 Woods, min 82;

The Barça women will be returning from Kazakhstan in a bittersweet mood after their Champions League debut ended 1-1. Ruth Garcia’s goal for the Catalans was matched in somewhat dubious fashion by BIIK’s equaliser, but the team is still nicely poised for the second leg at home.

After a long journey, the players had to adapt quickly to a difficult surface, stifling heat and a rock-solid opposing defence. They managed to control the possession but struggled do much with it, with Olga García the only player to truly stand out in the first 45 minutes. Her dazzling runs down the left were a constant threat to the Kazakhs, and she hit the bar with a fine shot on 21 minutes. But other than that, the first half passed largely without incident.

Change of gear

BIIK started taking more of an initiative after the break, and striker Gabelia really should have done better when she was gifted an opportunity. It was the wake-up call that Barça needed. Bárbara Latorre brought out the best in the local goalie with a powerfully driven strike. Melanie latched onto a clearance from the ensuing corner, and floated the ball onto the head of Ruth García to knock home the opening goal.

Barça looked well in control from then on. Diéguez had two golden chances to sentence the game, but BIIK were let off the hook. And then disaster struck with eight minutes left on the clock. The Barça defence looked to have safely dealt with a BIIK corner, but the referee judged the ball to have crossed the line. There was no time for Barça to conjure up a response, and the things ended 1-1. The Barça women now head back to Catalonia to start thinking about the second leg.

LIVE – BIIK Kazygurt v FC Barcelona (UEFA Women's Champions League)

The women's team are ready to start their European campaign / FCB
Live coverage from Shymkent, Kazakhstan of the UEFA Women’s Champions League round of 32 first leg (commentary in Spanish)

From 11.00am CET, you can watch live coverage of the Barça women’s team in the first leg of their opening fixture in the UEFA Women’s Champions League. They are in Shymkent, Kazakhstan to play  BIIK Kazygurt (commentary in Spanish).

Sergi Roberto in the spotlight

Sergi Roberto continues to develop / FCB
The FC Barcelona is the sixth most used this season in the league and in the Champions League

His versatility and his attacking instincts have seen him play in midfield and at right back

10 November 2010 was the day that one of the most outstanding talents from the Barça B squad made his official debut for the first team. It came in game against Ceuta in the last 32 of the Copa del Rey and five years on that youngster who promised much has become of the players most used by Luis Enrique. In his third season as a member of the Barça first team, Sergi Roberto has moved on from being a promising talent to a fully fledged blaugrana first team member.

The 23 year old is making the most of his opportunities this season. He is repaying Luis Enrique for the confidence that the coach has shown in him with some excellent performances and is sixth on the list of blaugranes who have played most so far this season. In total he has played 597 minutes, behind Mascherano (745’), Sergio Busquets (736’), Rakitic (731’), Luis Suárez (720’) and Neymar (717’).

His importance in the first this season was underlined by his contribution to the comeback victory over Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League. Sergi Roberto grabbed the equalizer in the 2-1 win at Camp Nou that allowed Barça to record their first win in this season’s competition.

2 (2) 1 108 (180) 1 0
LEAGUE 6 (7) 5 489 (630) 0 1

The virtue of versatility

With the injury to Dani Alves and Aleix Vidal unavailable, the position of right back suddenly needed an occupant. More used to playing in midfield, Sergi Roberto was quick to adapt his game to playing in the back four and his ability to get forward and his ability on the ball have convinced Luis Enrique that he is a viable option both at full back and midfield. That has given the Reus born player the confidence to continue to perform as his numbers bear out.

71 65 (91.54%) 4
LEAGUE 309 267 (86.40%) 22

Sergi Roberto’s team mates

Lionel Messi 15 Gerard Piqué 19
Ivan Rakitic 14 Lionel Messi 10
Gerard Piqué 12 Ivan Rakitic 8
Sergio Busquets 7 Sergio Busquets 4
Jordi Alba 5 Neymar 3


Ivan Rakitic 56 Javier Mascherano 61
Javier Mascherano 42 Ivan Rakitic 55
Lionel Messi 25 Sergio Busquets 26
Rafinha 22 Gerard Piqué 25
Sergio Busquets 21 Lionel Messi 16


Low-key workout minus players on international duty

Neymar was one of the players who didn't travel for this week's FIFA qualifiers. / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Players not with their national teams train on Field Two at the Ciutat Esportiva

After two days of rest in the wake of FC Barcelona’s 2–1 defeat at Sevilla on Saturday, the team returned to training on Tuesday morning at the Joan Gamper Ciutat Esportiva. It was the team’s first workout without the eleven players summoned by their respective national teams for World Cup and European qualifiers.

Those who stayed back trained on Field Two in Sant Joan Despí. Among those present were Neymar and Luis Suárez, who are both serving sanctions for Brazil and Uruguay, respectively.

Work continues at Ciutat Esportiva

Aleix Vidal and Neymar train on Wednesday morning / MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
First team joined at the Wednesday morning session by reserve goalkeeper Jokin Ezkieta

The FC Barcelona first team trained for second time this week on Wednesday morning. All of the available players that are not away on international duty reported for the session on the Tito Vilanova field.

The squad was also joined by reserve keeper Jokin Ezkieta, who signed for the club last summer although he not been allowed to officially register. 

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