Ousmane Dembele in action for Barcelona away to Huesca

Scouting report: Barcelona held by Huesca

Sunday 14 April 2019 00:24

Barcelona were able to rest their big guns in their weekend La Liga match ahead of Manchester United’s visit to the Nou Camp on Tuesday.

The Reds visit Barça in the Champions League quarter-final second leg after losing the first leg 1-0 at Old Trafford. And while United were beating West Ham 2-1 in the Premier League, the Catalan giants followed up their win in Manchester with an unimpressive 0-0 away draw at La Liga's bottom club Huesca.

Ernesto Valverde's side are on track to retain their domestic league title but the seemingly inevitable crowning was slowed up by their hosts, who are rooted to the foot of the table in their first ever campaign in Spain's top flight.
The starting line-up against Huesca was Barcelona's youngest XI since 1995, with an average age of 24.

Barça travelled to Estadio El Alcoraz without captain Lionel Messi who was being rested for the United game; also missing were Luis Suarez and and ex-United defender Gerard Pique, who were both serving bans, as well as Sergio Busquets, Sergi Roberto and Ivan Rakitic. The trio, who all played in the first leg at Old Trafford, were reported to have knocks so didn’t face Huesca.

With so many regulars absent, Valverde gave four players their La Liga debuts for Barcelona - midfielder Riqui Puig and defenders Jean-Clair Todibo, Jeison Murillo and Moussa Wague - and the much changed side couldn’t find the net in front of 7,638 fans who had no doubt eagerly awaited the fixture since Huesca's promotion last season.

Despite dropping the two points, Barça now need just three wins from their final six matches to be confirmed again as La Liga champions. But in the meantime, they'll focus on facing United again, backed by the vast majority of a 99,000-capacity crowd at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night.

The recently injured Ousmane Dembele was an unused substitute in the first leg but he demonstrated his fitness for the second leg by starting against Huesca and playing 67 minutes before being replaced by Phillipe Coutinho.


Barcelona: ter Stegen; Todibo, Murillo, Umtiti; Vidal; Wague, Alena (Ramos de Oliveira Melo, 81) Puig (Alba, 67), Malcom; Boateng, Dembele (Coutinho, 67). 

Substitutes not used: Cillessen, Cabral Semedo, Lenglet, Ruiz.