Barça show Flensburg no mercy in MOTW
The first Match of the Week of the EHF Champions League Men 2021/22 season saw a high-octane battle between SG Flensburg-Handewitt and Barça. Despite missing several key players, such as Gøran Søgard and Magnus Rød, the German side were able to look the reigning champions in the eyes.
But while Flensburg conceded only 25 goals, the lowest total for Barça since 2018, they struggled to beat Gonzalo Perez de Vargas. With 16 sixteen saves, the Player of the Match was the key player as the reigning champions claimed a 25:21 victory.
- on the back of a very good start, Barça led on the scoreboard throughout the first half — although the gap between the sides was never bigger than three goals
- the hosts were unable to achieve a few stops to level the score. Consequently, the titleholders were still ahead by three at the break
- Flensburg came within one goal many times in the second half, as Hampus Wanne's performance kept them in contention, but Gonzalo Perez de Vargas was strong enough between the posts to keep the visitors ahead
- thanks to his 16 saves at a 44 per cent efficiency rate, Gonzalo Perez de Vargas was named as the Player of the Match
- Barça teammate Dika Mem scored seven times. Three players scored six goals, including two for Flensburg: Hampus Wanne and Aaron Mensing
Gonzalo Perez de Vargas wins the goalkeepers' battle
Match of the Week saw two of last season’s best goalkeepers head-to-head, and Barça’s Gonzalo Perez de Vargas won the contest against Flensburg's Benjamin Buric.
Spain's national team goalkeeper forced Flensburg left back Aaron Mensing to score only six goals from 15 shots. While Buric saved one more shot for the hosts, Perez de Vargas' 44 per cent efficiency rate was the most important factor on Thursday night.
We saw a game in which goalkeepers and defences were better than the attacks. I'm very happy with this win because it was our first game with new players in the EHF Champions League this season. Of course there are things that we can improve, but we controlled the match.