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Samper and Rafinha celebrating against Huesca / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
شاهد أهداف البلاوغرانا الأربعة في شباك هويسكا ضمن دور الـ32 من مسابقة كأس الملك

شاهد في الفيديو أعلاه أهداف البلاوغرانا الأربعة في شباك هويسكا ضمن دور الـ32 من مسابقة كأس الملك.

It all feels good for Iniesta

Andrés Iniesta was playing for the first time since his injury at the Santiago Bernabéu / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The midfielder was pleased to say that he felt no after-effects from his injury in his comeback game at El Alcoraz

He played all ninety minutes and scored a fine goal from the edge of the area

Training on Friday

The first team are being driven straight back to Barcelona now that the game is over, and the coach should arrive at around 4.00 AM CET. Luis Enrique has given the players the day off tomorrow Thursday and they’ll be due back at the Ciutat Esportiva on Friday at 11.00 AM CET to start preparations for the derby with Espanyol.

[[DES_1]]Andrés Iniesta was back in action for the first time tonight since getting injured at the Santiago Bernabéu. He played the full game and afterwards commented that “it’s never easy to come back after so long. But I felt fine and that’s the most important thing. I was able to play without feeling any trouble and that’s calmed me down a lot … In the end, I wasn’t out for as long as expected, although experience has taught me not to rush these things. Injuries are what they are and you have to give them the time required”.

As for the goal, he said that “when you try a shot from outside the area, they sometimes go in, and that was the idea then. I pulled off a great shot … When you play a football match, you always want to win and play well.”

The following comments were also heard in the mixed zone after the game:

Pedro Rodríguez

“I’m very happy with the goal and now I have to keep growing, sticking with my team-mates, and playing”.

Sergi Samper

“We did the job we had to do and have got a great result for the second leg”.

“We knew they’d be very motivated, but we also went out strong and got an early goal.”

“4-0 is a great result. We’ll try to do even better in the second leg, and get some minutes to keep improving.”

“Being the player who made the most passes is something that also happens to me in the B team. That shows there’s not that much of a difference between playing for the reserves and playing for the first team”.

“I’m feeling calmer all the time. I try to make the most of the chances that Luis Enrique gives me and every time I play for the first team I try to show that I’m good enough for this team”.

Luis Enrique puts win down to motivation

Luis Enrique was speaking after the 4-0 win on a cold night in Huesca / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The FC Barcelona manager is more than pleased with a result that sets things up perfectly for the second leg

“Things were tighter in the second half” he admitted. “But that’s normal in games like these”

Barça beat Huesca 4-0 in tonight’s cup first leg and Luis Enrique is naturally delighted with the result. “It’s a clear reflection of the intensity, motivation and seriousness with which we approached the match” he said in his post-match press conference. He was also pleased to get the chance to look at some of the less regular members of his squad, saying that “we want all of the players to do their bit, and we’re on the right track to achieving that.”

Three goals from Rakitic, Iniesta and Pedro already had the game as good as wrapped up by half-time. After that, “things were tighter in the second half” he admitted. “But that’s only normal in games like these.” Commenting on the wonderfully struck free-kick by Rakitic, the Asturian said that “the players negotiate who gets to take them, and we have some great takers. But I think it’s right for them to respect roles and hierarchies.”[[CITA_1]]

Luis Enrique also used the game to try out some Barça B players, with Samper playing all 90 minutes, Munir and Sandro also getting chances in attack, and Edgar Ié making his official first team debut. “We want them to see that they can get chances” explained the manager.

We want all of the players to do their bit, and we’re on the right track

Edgar Ié has described the thrill of making his first team debut

Edgar Ié made his official debut in Huesca / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
The Guinea Bissau born centre back came on for the last half hour against Huesca in the cup

“I have the manager’s faith and now I have to keep working harder” he said afterwards

Barça B centre back Edgar Ié made his official first team debut in tonight’s cup game with Huesca, coming on for Mathieu in the 63rd minute to team up alongside Bartra. In almost thirty minutes on the field at El Alcoraz, Ié made two particularly decisive interventions to help shut out the Aragonese attack.

Speaking after the game, he said “I’m really happy with my debut. I have the manager’s faith and now I just have to work ever harder … My team-mates told me to push more and not leave any gaps open.” He also commented that Gerard Piqué has always been one of his role models. “I like the way he gets the ball out” he said.

Preseason experience

Luis Enrique has now given debuts to four B team players, after Munir, Sandro and Samper. But the Guinea-Bissau born defender already appeared in preseason games in Huelva, Nice, Geneva and Helsinki. Since then, he has appeared in nine of the 15 Barça B fixtures this season.

Ié joined Barça in 2008 from Sporting Lisbon. A series of injuries have prevented us from seeing the best of him, but now that he’s back to full fitness, he’s starting to show his full qualities, and the reward has been his first ever run-out for the first team.

SD Huesca v FC Barcelona: A job well done (0-4)

Gol de Rakitic contra l'Osca. FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
The Catalans eased to 4-0 victory in tonight’s Spanish Cup round of 16 first leg at Division 2B side Huesca

Rakitic, Iniesta, Pedro and Rafinha provided the goals that set things up perfectly for the return at the Camp Nou on December 16

Luis Enrique opted for an eleven made up largely of fringe players in Wednesday’s cup opener, and the whole team shone as they made their superiority tell against their lower division opponent. Although most pundits had expected the Asturian to play Masip in goal, it was Ter Stegen who finally got the nod, while the game was also used to give Andrés Iniesta his first run-out after a 40-day absence through injury.

Early lead

On a cold evening in Aragon, it was apparent from the start that there was a gulf in class between the two teams, and it took just eleven minutes for the Catalans to take the lead. Ivan Rakitic, who had an outstanding first half, placed an absolutely perfect free kick around the wall and into the back of the net. Just five minutes later, a magnificent piece of team football was finished off by Iniesta with a powerful strike from the edge of the area – his first goal of the season.

2-0 down after just a quarter of an hour, Huesca could no longer afford to sit back and defend. And their more positive approach almost paid off when their liveliest player, Guillem, collected a cross to go on-on-one with Ter Stegen, but the German managed to get a foot to the ball.

Pedro makes it three

There was still time for Barça to all but settle the match with a third goal after 38 minutes when a terrific through ball from Iniesta found Pedro. The Canary Islander made no mistake and placed a perfect strike past Huesca keeper Dani Jiménez.

The second half followed a very different script. Throwing caution to the wind somewhat, the home side almost had as many shots as the visitors, but some rock solid defending and some fine interventions from Ter Stegen managed to deal expertly with everything that came their way.

With 26 minutes left on the clock, Luis Enrique opted to send on Edgar Ié on for Jérémy Mathieu, thus marking the Guinea-Bissau born defender’s official debut for Barça.

After 71 minutes, Rafinha extended Barça’s lead with a shot from the edge of the area that deflected off a defender. It was the Brazilian’s first ever official goal for the first team.

Huesca keep battling

The win now beyond doubt, Barça could afford to ease off for the last quarter of an hour, while Huesca desperately lunged forward in search of a consolation goal. And they very nearly got it. Esnádier came close from long range, then Guillem was blocked by Douglas just before he could shoot as part of the same move that saw Esnáider denied by a fine Ter Stegen save, and Guillem was ideally poised before a tremendous tackle from Bartra prevented him from shooting.

It was certainly a plucky performance from the Aragonese outfit, but ultimately they were outdone by a Barça side was simply a class above them. There’s still the second leg on December 16, but after tonight’s comfortable 4-0 win, that now looks like being a mere formality.

 

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