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25.11.2010, 12:40◄ last page     

Spain’s elite pair will be turning their attention to the VELUX EHF Champions League after epic domestic clash.

Barcelona win Spanish "clásico"

Prior to this important weekend in the VELUX EHF Champions League, the Asobal League saw a decisive clash: "El Clásico" of Spanish handball. The two heavyweights of the league, Barcelona and Ciudad Real, met on Wednesday evening.

The Catalonians celebrated victory in the home match 27:24 and in the process, ended Ciudad’s spectacular run of league victories.

Talant Dujshebaev’s team had won 67 consecutive games and was tantalisingly close to breaking the historical record of Atletico de Madrid (69 victories).

The game was very even, but with Barcelona in the lead for most of the time. In the dying minutes, Barcelona coach Xavi Pascual made some wise decisions, and his team established a three-goal gap to defeat Ciudad.

Barcelona’s goalkeeper Daniel Šarić saved five important shots during those decisive final moments. Wing player Juanín García scored twelve times and, along with Šarić, was one of the match’s key figures.

García opened the first gap in the scoring, and also scored the final goals for the Catalonians.

Ciudad tried to play balls to line-player Julen Aginagalde, but Xavi Pascual’s Barcelona players were very well prepared and defended excellently against the Spanish pivot. This reduced the playing possibilities for Ciudad and with them, their chances for victory.

Joan Cañellas and Chema Rodríguez tried to take control of the match but they often failed when faced by Barcelona’s outstanding goalkeeper.

This important victory puts Barcelona at the Top of the Spanish Championship again, as they’ve won every game so far. Ciudad (disappointed to not be re-writing the history books) follow closely behind, just two points adrift.

Both teams will play at home in the next round of the VELUX EHF Champions League. On Saturday, Barcelona will host Polish team Kielce, to improve their current position in Group A.

Ciudad Real will host Bosna Sarajevo as the Spaniards look to defend their first place in Group D. Dujshebaev’s team can open a gap in the table if Flensburg does not gain victory against Croatia Osiguranje in Zagreb.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi

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