Strong start extends Barça’s winning streak
With both play-off games against Elverum hosted by the Palau Blaugrana, Barça lost no time in conserving their top form this season in the EHF Champions League Men, taking a strong lead after 15 minutes in the first leg.
The Spanish powerhouse never looked back and secured an impressive 37:25 win, to make a big step towards the quarter-finals of Europe’s top competition for the 11th time in the last 12 seasons.
Elverum Handball (NOR) vs Barça (ESP) 25:37 (12:19)
- Barça surged into an early 11:1 lead thanks to a superb start in defence that produced five converted fast breaks
- playing at home, Barça were unstoppable in attack, but as coach Xavier Pascual started to replace his starters, Elverum bounced back and cut the gap to only seven goals at the break at 19:12
- Danish goalkeeper Thorsten Fries kept Elverum afloat in the first half, with 10 superb saves, including three one-on-one shots
- this was Barça’s biggest win against Elverum in three games; three goals bigger than the previous record, 33:24, set in the group phase of the 2019/20 season
- the second leg of the game, scheduled for Monday 5 April, will also be played in Barcelona
15 wins in 15 games for Barça
It was not a vintage performance from Barça, but their attacking prowess was once again on display, after the Spanish side finished the group phase with 505 goals scored in 14 games.
Barça had one 45-goal outing and three 42-goals outings throughout the group phase, but finished this game with 37 goals with only three outfield players – line player Cedric Sorhaindo and centre backs Domen Makuc and Raul Entrerrios – failing to score a goal.
Yet Barça registered a comfortable win despite their unusually low 59 percent shooting efficiency in their 15th victory in 15 games this season in the EHF Champions League Men to cement their status as one of favourites to secure their 10th title.