There is no one who can beat Barcelona in handball | Sports

Cindric, Barça's top scorer with eight goals, dismantled the GOG defense.
Cindric, Barça’s top scorer with eight goals, dismantled the GOG defense.Mads Claus Rasmussen (EFE)

In the penultimate training session at the Ciudad Deportiva, Carlos Ortega worked many exercises to jump into pressure in the face of some skepticism, but he articulated a speech that ended up convincing everyone, since he understood that intensity would be the hallmark of the tie against the effervescent Gudme (GOG) Danish. He was not wrong. Afterwards, he assembled the team and it was clear. “Keep in mind that almost certainly all 18 of us are going to Denmark,” he warned, aware of the capitality of the match, the first leg of a Champions League quarterfinal, a previous step for the Final Four that will be held, as usual, in Cologne on June 17 and 18. The company is morrocotuda, since Barça intends to beat its own record, every time it adds two laurels in a row —something that no one ever achieved— and focuses on the third. After the stake in Denmark and thanks to Nielsen in the goal and Cindric (8 goals) in the rival, he has a foot and a half left in the second leg, next week.

The two teams soon showed that the march is going for them, that their thing is to run —although Barça, with Ortega on the bench after taking over from Xavi Pascual, also enjoys the static game—, an electric and kickback handball, also high-flying . The proposal, however, wore down the GOG because it has a strong starting team (Swedish international goalkeeper Tobias Thulin; its leader on the track, veteran central Morten Olssen; full-backs Emil Madsen and Simon Pytlick, and pivot Lukas Jorgensen). but a second unbravada unit, a matter of wallet and budget. But from the beginning the Barca goalkeeper Emil Nielsen, a true golden scarecrow, also weighed on him.

A hand here, a foot there and the crossbar or post over there. Nielsen may have a few kilos over a specific position that does not require resistance, but he does not lack elasticity or reflexes, nor does he lack skill. A full-fledged recital, a grinder that Gudme choked on and that Thulin tried to replicate in his area, his performance remarkable but insufficient against the Barca cyclone. And all at the speed of light. Like that goal from Janc, who quickly received the ball from Nielsen after a goal against and scored from midfield because the goalkeeper didn’t have time to get back on track.

There was a rush, supersonic attacks and few were as good at running as Luka Cindric, who in training tends to muscle up his teammates when he scores a beautifully crafted goal. He gestured that he was saved at Jyske Bank Arena but might as well have done it, clipped shots sparking into the net. Something similar to what Melvin Richardson achieved and that, more subtly, Fabregas repeated as a pivot. An efficiency that Barça expressed on the scoreboard from very early on with two goals ahead to reach four (11-15) and close before the intermission with four (15-19).

After the break the script was inflexible, with the magician Cindric again appearing in the land of giants to score his goals, show time good, also with the physical exuberance of Dika Mem, a Hulk who ended up hitting the ground face down because he injured his right calf and was taken off the track by his teammates. To the party cule Wanne joined —evidence that the Barça bench has reel and carats—, always with the wand in his hands to make the difficult easy. Snacks from the Catalans that highlighted their goalscoring ability, even though Madsen (9 goals) and Tollbring (6) resisted their fate, happy when Barça was outnumbered. But if something went wrong, of course, Nielsen was under the sticks, so inspired that he even stopped with his face and barely gave Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas, another universal goalkeeper, space.

A seven-goal and class-leading triumph for Barça, which has gone undefeated in 25 games in the Champions League —23 wins and two draws—, and seals half a ticket for the Final Four.


GOG: Thulin; Morten Olsen (4), Madsen (9), Pytlick (2), Tollbring (6), Jorgensen (5), Rasmussen (2), Pedersen (2), Jakobsen (0), Clausen (0) and Legér (0) , Cehte (0).

Barcelona: Nielsen and Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas; Cindric (8), Dika Mem (4), Melvin Richardson (4), Aleix Gómez (2), N’guessan (4), Martí Soler (1), Ludovic Fabregas (5), Hampus Wanne (4), Janc ( 2), Makuc (2) and Luis Frade (1).

Splits every five minutes: 2-3, 5-7, 8-11, 11-15, 14-17 and 15-19 —rest— 17-23, 20-25, 22-29, 25-31, 27-34 and 30-37.

Referees: Arthur Brunner (Switzerland) and Morad Salah (Switzerland). Clausen, Fabregas, Jorgensen, Dika Mem and Cehte were excluded by two minutes.

Jyske Bank Arena. About 5,000 spectators.

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