The Barcelona youngsters
given a chance to shine in Tuesday's 4-0 Champions League Group
H win over BATE Borisov turned in an "impeccable" performance,
according to delighted coach Pep Guardiola.
Holders Barca had already reached the last 16 as group
winners and Guardiola blooded a raft of recent youth-academy
graduates in a starting lineup in which the 10 outfield players
had an average age of just over 21.
Midfielder Sergi Roberto, 19, opened the scoring against the
Belarusian champions in the 35th minute and full-back Martin
Montoya (20) powered a shot high into the net for a 60th-minute
second before Pedro (24) scored the third three minutes later
with an audacious flick.
Pedro then converted a penalty two minutes from time after a
foul on promising winger Isaac Cuenca (20).
Guardiola, himself a product of the club's 'La Masia' youth
school, told a news conference the B-team on show at the Nou
Camp, dubbed 'Baby Barca' in local media, had been "impeccable
in every sense of the word".
"It's not easy fielding seven lads from the second team and
giving the impression of playing well," added the former Barca
and Spain midfielder, who rested most of the first team ahead of
Saturday's opening La Liga 'Clasico' of the campaign at arch
rivals Real Madrid.
"And it's not something that happens from one day to the
next," he said.
"It's really nice that they were all able to participate and
it makes us proud.
"They are talented players and I hope they can help Barca in
Pedro, the only participant who could be considered a
first-team regular, said Barca's second team was full of
exciting young talent who were pressing hard for a permanent
place with their senior colleagues.
"The quarry [youth academy] is very strong," the Spain
forward, an academy graduate who is coming back from an injury
layoff, told reporters.
"The players did a great job and they are coming through
strongly and filled with desire to cement a place in the first
team," the 2010 World Cup winner added.
Central defender fit enough to play in the Champions League final at Wembley
Bayern Munich unfazed by the need to be more clinical in attack against Borussia Dortmund
Ruud Gullit believes Bayern Munich are in for a shock when they take on Borussia Dortmund
Napoli president denies reports that he has named Rafael Benitez as club's new manager
Ten years on, the legends speak to FFT
Your questions answered by an A to Z of legends
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
Nike CR7 IX for you
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010