Coach Pep Guardiola delighted with 'Baby Barca'
Wednesday 07 December 2011
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.
Latest in Sport
Petr Cech demands talks over Chelsea future as Thibaut Courtois begs him to stay – as mentor
Angel Di Maria: Manchester United to push ahead with £50m move for Real Madrid winger
Marcos Rojo to Manchester United: Sporting Lisbon confirm deal with Nani heading back to Portugal on loan
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
- 1 Michael Brown shooting: Police shoot and kill second young black man near Ferguson
- 3 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns aged 27
- 4 Cilla Black defends Cliff Richard: 'I am positive that the allegations are without foundation'
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Ukip MEP calls for reintroduction of death penalty on fiftieth anniversary of last deaths
Russell Brand calls for Israel boycott: Comedian urges big businesses that 'facilitate the oppression of people in Gaza' to pull funding
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head