Ruthless Barcelona get the job done in forty minutesArticle
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BLOG: Tom O’Brannagain looks back on the first Match of the Week of 2015 and a near-complete Barcelona performance

Ruthless Barcelona get the job done in forty minutes

Where do you start to tell the story of the game yesterday? Barcelona were on fire and Kolding got burned. This top of the table clash served up a draw last time the teams met and on paper this should have been a close game. 

It wasn't. 

The six-goal winning margin for Barcelona owes more to the fact that with twenty minutes remaining in the game they had decided enough was enough, rather than any serious fight back from Kolding. 

You see, at one stage the gap was ten and looked like it could just widen and widen. Whether out of some sense of compassion for their opponents or a bit of pride from Kolding we will never know, but the problems for the Danes began very early in the game. They could find no flow. And even though they were neck and neck for maybe the first ten minutes you could see this was going to be a tough game for them.

As almost all the Barca team were returning from serious competition they looked like battle hardened troops. Their speed was perfect, their timing was awesome and their power was at maximum. In fact, they were so good that Kolding couldn't live with them. 

Peaking too early?

Minus the shooting power of Andersson, who played, but couldn't shoot, the defence of Barcelona made Kolding play in areas so compact that there was nowhere to go. Sorhaindo and Karabatic looked like they were attached by a string in the centre block such was their telepathic understanding.

Kolding were reduced to pretty average handball and every mistake was punished ruthlessly. In fact if Barcelona could have gotten their transition play absolutely perfect it was as complete a performance as you're likely to see. 

Spellerberg comes out of the game with some credit for Kolding. It's not just his 11 goals; it's his range of passing efforts that turned into assists. On a day when the usual stuff didn't work, he delved into his bag of tricks and found some answers. 

There are always peaks and troughs in sport. It's interesting that this is the second season in a row where Kolding have experienced a slight post-Christmas hangover (figuratively of course).

On this form Barcelona look unstoppable. But reality check people, it's only February. You need to peak in May.  It certainly begs the question about how good this Barcelona team could be if they had the regular competition of a tough Spanish league. 

They don't. And Pascual will certainly earn his money trying to keep the lid on expectations, but more importantly on the current physical condition of his players. 

But the Palau magic was back. They roared the team to victory on a night when Victor turned 30.  

TEXT: Tom O'Brannagain, ehfTV commentator