Barcelona Start Off New Season With Joan Gamper Trophy

The 2020/21 season has begun in all the leagues. Be it La Liga, Premier League, Serie A, or Bundesliga, we have got to see some really thrilling matches until now. Soon, we will also be getting the UEFA Champions League draws in the month of October. Amongst all this, there is Barcelona who is yet to start its campaign in La Liga. Before starting off their season on 27th September against Villareal, the Catalans played their traditional Joan Gamper trophy yesterday. They locked horns with the newly-promoted La Liga club, Elche. It was a special game for the club as it was their first match at their home ground Camp Nou this season.

Barcelona Start Off Season With Joan Gamper Trophy
Barcelona celebrate after scoring their goal against Elche.

Ronald Koeman had already announced the squad and everyone was eager to see who will be in the starting 11. The Dutchman picked the following players to start:

Neto, Alba, Lenglet, Pique, Roberto, Busquets, De Jong, Coutinho, Griezmann, Fati and Messi.

Koeman went with his classic formation of 4-2-3-1 with Messi being the sole striker. However, Messi was seen in the role of a false 9. It seems like the manager has given him the free-roam role. The 33-year old captain was seen dropping back deep into the midfield and even attack when he got the chances. Talking about Luis Suarez, he was also present for the match. Even though he was not a part of the squad, he came to Camp Nou to support his teammates. So, let us see further in the article what happened in the match.

Barcelona Start Off Season With Joan Gamper Trophy
A still of Luis Suarez (in black), Riqui Puig (in white, left), and Ter Stegen (in grey) from the stands during the match.

Match Summary: Barcelona vs Elche (Joan Gamper Trophy final)

The referee blew the whistle as Elche started the game. In the 2nd minute of the game itself, Messi put a through ball to Alba who was taking a run. Alba then put in a cross to Griezmann who scored the first and the only goal of the game. Messi used his excellent vision to help Alba set up the goal for Griezmann. Even though it was the only goal of the game, it was not the only chance that the Blaugranas created. In the 17th minute, Frenkie De Jong intercepted a ball from the Elche left-back but hit directly into the keeper’s hand as it was his weaker foot. Later on, in the 45th minute also Coutinho dribbled past two players excellently. He set up Griezmann but the Frenchman was not able to convert the opportunity.

That was it from the first half with the score being 1-0 in Barcelona’s favor. In fact, till the end of the game was the score was 1-0 only with the Culers lifting the Joan Gamper trophy. However, the second half was interesting too. Messi was denied two goals at the hands of the Elche goalkeeper in the 50th and the 64th minute. All and all Barcelona played a good game as they created chances and linked up with each other quite well. The defensive line also seemed to do their work quite well and it feels like they are ready to take upon the country of Spain as they begin their campaign on the coming Sunday.