Finally, the Culers were happy as they would get to see their team play their first pre-season match. Barcelona was going to play Gimnastic de Tarragona, more popularly known as Nastic. The team has been training hard ever since the arrival of their new coach Ronald Koeman. After all the controversy with Messi leaving, Suarez being forced to leave, and Rakitic bidding goodbye to the club, the Blaugranas played their first pre-season match yesterday. Koeman gave a chance to 22 players as he played two different squads in each half of the game. It was surely interesting as the former Netherlands coach tried different formations in each half.
Match Summary: FC Barcelona vs Gimnastic de Tarragona
For the first half, Koeman chose a lineup of Neto, Sergi Roberto, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Busquets, Carles Alena, Pedri, Griezmann, Dembele, and Lionel Messi. He went with the formation of 4-2-3-1 with Messi being the sole striker. However, during the match, it seemed like Messi had been given the role of free-roam as he played deep into his half as well as the opponent’s half. The match finally began as the referee blew the whistle. Barcelona started playing an aggressive game as they were looking forward to scoring quickly. They were even successful in doing so as Dembele scored the first goal of the match in the 5th minute. The Frenchman scored the first goal of the season by nutmegging the Nastic goalkeeper.
Soon enough, in the 16th minute, the Catalans scored their second goal from a spot-kick. Griezmann stepped up after Pique was fouled inside the box. He sent the keeper the wrong way and put the ball into the bottom left of the net. Later on in the 30th minute, Nastic scored their first goal of the game. It was a brilliant effort from Bonilla, who curled the ball into the left side of the net, leaving Neto standing at the center. That was the last goal of the first half as the score at halftime was 2-1 in Barcelona’s favor.
Then began the second half, where Koeman chose Inaki Pena, Semedo, Araujo, Jorge Cuenca, Junior Firpo, De Jong, Riqui Puig, Konrad, Coutinho, Trincao, and Braithwaite. Semedo was assigned the badge of captaincy. The second half began, and just 6 minutes into the game, Semedo won Barcelona a penalty after a cross from him hit the opponent’s hands. Coutinho took the chance to smash the ball into the bottom right of the net. That was the last goal of the game, but the youngsters did show a great deal of compassion and quality.
When do the Blaugranas start their campaign?
The colors look all set to take on the challenge for the upcoming season. They begin their campaign against Villareal on 27th September 2020. The pre-season friendlies are usually arranged to help the players learn each other’s game and build a rapport between themselves. The manager did not play Luis Suarez in the match, which strengthens our doubts on the Uruguayan leaving the club this summer. Barcelona did win the game but still need to work a bit on their passing and shots. We hope that they play their A-game from now on and can win many trophies in their 2020-21 campaign.