Coach Pep Guardiola delighted with 'Baby Barca'

 

Madrid


The Barcelona youngsters given a chance to shine in yesterday'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 fullback 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 the future."

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.

 

Reuters

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003