Barca’s visit to the Cartagonova stadium could have backfired last night as the local side went one up. It was one of those duels where there is much to lose and little to gain. Barcelona made the mistake of going behind against a Segunda B side, although it managed to avoid the carnage and a red face with a great comeback.
Fernando put Cartagena ahead with a goal in the 16th minute of the first half. He won the duel with the central defenders with Puyol lacking freshness in an effort to regain his old position. José Manuel Pinto could have made a better effort to stop the ball going in, too.
After a moment of nervousness in the Catalan camp, Tata Martino’s team overcame and had already turned around the situation before the break. First it was Pedro in the 36th minute then Cesc in the 43rd minute just before the break. Before that, Alexis had enjoyed a few good chances, but it just wasn’t his night.
With the situation now under control by Barca, the second half was a different story. Barca was more comfortable on the pitch and Cartagena became diluted over the course of the second half. The difference in the team’s level finally began to shine through.
Pedro was the best on the field, and Dongou, who came on in the final minutes, underpinned the result and left the tie resolved without the need for a match at the Camp Nou. What could have been an expensive trip to Cartagena, finally ended in a small fright for the Catalan giants.