Sublime Barça show no mercy against Vardar
It should have been a nail-biting game, a game which featured the best attack in the competition versus the best defence in the group, but it ultimately became a game that saw a team in superb form pummel their opponents until they had no answer.
PSG might be the only undefeated team in the competition, but Barça must be the one that is in top form. They recorded their seventh win in a row in an exquisite manner, with one of their biggest wins ever against Vardar, a team that had only lost once this season before facing the Spanish club.
- Casper Mortensen scored nine times
- Vardar have lost three of their last four games
- Barça are undefeated since their first round loss against Löwen
- The Spanish champions are now big favourites to win the group
MOTW: Barça Lassa (ESP) vs HC Vardar (MKD) 34 :26 (16 :15)
Vardar started out strongly with a 3:0 run, and nothing seemed to announce the storm that was going to deluge the visitors. Ivan Cupic and Vuko Borozan were particularly helpful in setting that run, that saw the Macedonian side in good position to avenge last week’s 30:26 defeat.
But Barça answered with their own 4:1 run and the two teams shared blows, changing leads three times. Vardar managed to stay afloat, until a well-taken Xavi Pascual time-out brought back Barça into the lead at half-time, 16:15.
What happened next was far from even the wildest imaginations of Barça’s hardcore fans.
A flurry of Kevin Møller saves put Barça into position to create a huge run and their attack duly delivered in those key moments. A 7:0 partial that saw Vardar fail to score between the 31st and the 39th minute took the Spanish powerhouse to a 24:16 lead that left their opponents red-faced.
Møller said afterwards: “I love the big matches, but I just love to play handball. It was a mental good game for me, saving some balls."
Casper Mortensen was key, scoring nine times in what proved to be one of the most one-sided games in the mutual history between the two teams as Barça cruised to their seventh consecutive win of the season, 34:26.
Aron Palmarsson was named Player of the Match of the Week with the award presented by Cashback World.
The hosts are still leading the group with 14 points and will travel to Kielce next week. Vardar have lost three times in the last four games and now sit fourth. They will face another ailing side, Meshkov Brest, next week.
Author: Adrian Costeiu/jh