Nantes fall just short of making history at Palau Blaugrana
In the past ten seasons, Barça lost only three home matches in the EHF Champions League, their last home defeat dates back to a 33:31 loss to Kielce on 5 December 2015.
On Wednesday night, this incredible series almost came to an end. HBC Nantes came close to beating the record winners but in the end, Barça took their 24th home victory in a row in a match dominated by a former Barça wing and two extremely strong Danish goalkeepers.
Barça (ESP) vs HBC Nantes (FRA) 30:29 (14:17)
- after their 12th group phase victory, Barça have a perfect 24 points and are confirmed as group winners
- after two victories against Aalborg and Zagreb last week, Nantes produced their best performance of this season but remain on eight points.
- Nantes’ Danish goalkeeper Emil Nielsen showed his value with 17 saves, nine of them in the first half, while fellow Dane Kevin Möller stood like a wall after the break and had eight of his 13 saves in the second half
- Blaz Janc decided the match with his two only goals, both scored in the final minutes
First at Kiel, then almost at Barça
If HBC Nantes had won the thriller at Palau Blaugrana, they would have been the first team in over five years to win in Barcelona and become the first team to beat both traditional powerhouses, Kiel and Barça, in their own back yard in the same season.
Nantes had conquered Kiel’s fortress in November, 35:27, but fell just short of a historic double.