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26.02.2017, 21:40
Gonzalo the Great secures Barcelona’s top position
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GROUP A REVIEW: Incredible goalkeeper performance the key to success in the re-match of the legendary 2014 semi-final
 

Gonzalo the Great secures Barcelona’s top position

FC Barcelona remain on top of group A after beating SG Flensburg-Handewitt on Sunday night. It was the eleventh victory for the Catalans in their 12 group matches. Despite their second straight defeat - but having the postponed match against Schaffhausen still ahead - Flensburg could still finish third in the group.

  • Goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas saved 18 Flensburg shots
  • SG goalkeeper Kevin Möller saved 21 FCB shots
  • Barcelona took the fourth straight win against Flensburg after their 2014 semi-final defeat in Cologne
  • FCB remain on top of the group and keep their two-point lead over Paris Saint-Germain

Group A

FC Barcelona Lassa (ESP) vs SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER) 26:23 (14:12)

FC Barcelona Lassa again have proved their extraordinary form by beating SG Flensburg-Handewitt. This was their third win in the third match against a German team this season, even before the Catalans travel to Kiel next Sunday.

The match saw top performances by two world-class goalkeepers. Flensburg’s Kevin Möller saved 21 shots, while Gonzalo Perez de Vargas became Barcelona’s match winner by 18 saves.

“I have never seen a goalkeeper performance like today on both sides, simply incredible,” said Flensburg coach Ljubomir Vranjes, adding: “If my players would not have had that huge respect against Gonzalo we could have won. Our attacking performance was below par.”

Flensburg stays in the game

In the initial stages a Vranjes time-out had changed everything. When his team was down by 1:4 after just eight minutes, he used his green card to stop the downswing.

Within 12 minutes his side managed to calm the fans in the Palau Blaugrana by levelling the result at 8:8.

Goalkeeper Kevin Möller was key to the comeback, providing his team mates with counter-attack chances thanks to his saves.

But if anyone thought that Möller’s saving percentage of 46 percent at the break was exceptional needed to see the other side of the statistic: Perez de Vargas saved 48 percent of all Flensburg’s shots and was the cornerstone of Barcelona's truly strong defence.

While Barcelona used all their options for scoring, Flensburg was limited as both Swedish right back Johan Jakobsson and Danish playmaker Thomas Mogensen were ruled out by injuries.

The hosts managed to stop Flensburg's charge and held a 14:12 advantage at half-time. Returning after the break, Barcelona forged ahead to 18:12 without any problems. In the second half the hosts held on to their lead, with a notable goal being Wael Jallouz's 'kung-fu' effort for 23:17 10 minutes before the end.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / jh
 
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