After the victory against Nástic earlier this week, Barcelona played their second pre-season
friendly against the Segunda División Girona. Although the opponents were of different calibre
this time around, the scoreline remained the same – Barça 3, Girona 1.
Barça Starting XI:
Sergi Roberto, Araújo, Piqué, and Alba;
Busquets and De Jong;
Trincão, Griezmann, and Coutinho.
Neto: Yet again, didn’t have much to do. Still looked unreliable between the posts. However,
during the game, when he was caught in sticky situations he managed to deal with them.
Alba & Roberto: The same old story. Left gaps in defence for the attackers to exploit and
weren’t impactful going forward either. Though, Alba seemed to get more involved in the game
as there was no real winger on the left-hand side.
Araújo: Impressive performance. His energy, physicality, and pace certainly helped solidify the
defence. Yet his lack of positional awareness left him and the defence in dangerous and
exploitable situations. Nonetheless, a dominating and promising display!
Piqué: Nothing new to report on. He was his usual self, leading the backline from the get-go and
making crucial interventions when needed.
Busquets: Performed relatively better, than against Nástic. Even if he was slow to react at
times, his understanding of interchanging positions with De Jong looked promising.
De Jong: Not great by his standards. Made silly mistakes and misplaced his passes – as one them
lead to the Girona goal. This might be because he was deployed in a double-pivot with
Busquets, but that’ll have to be determined with time. Despite that, he still proved to be crucial
in maintaining ball possession and tempo – especially in transitional play.
Messi: The GOAT. He was instrumental in how the team performed going forward, especially
during transitions. He was found to be everywhere on the pitch – interchanging positions with Griezmann and Trincão, conducting the passage of play, and scoring bangers from outside the
penalty box. With more understanding of how his surroundings function, he’ll reach double
figures in assists and goals in no time, touch wood.
Trincão: Initially, the youngster seemed to be lost regarding the role he had to play in the team, causing him to occasionally bump into Griezmann and co. However, as the game went on he
got more comfortable – assisting Coutinho to open the scoring. Throughout his time on the
pitch, he made runs in behind the defence and tried to create chances. Although, the
Portuguese still needs to work on maintaining width and positioning.
Griezmann: A much-improved performance. The Frenchman wasn’t tied down to a position like
in the game versus Nástic. He was much more involved and tried to make things happen. Thus,
being a part in the making of the first goal. Regardless of the positives, Griezmann still needs tohave a clearer role. If the situation prevails, it can pose a limitation when the team are not in
Coutinho: Great overall performance. The Brazilian managed to get another goal and seemed tobe booming with confidence. He was positioned out on the left-hand side with the license to
drift in centrally. Even though he was often guilty of losing possession, he provided attacking
threat by taking shots on goal and causing havoc for the opposition.
Barça Starting XI With Second-Half Changes:
Semedo, Araújo, Lenglet, and Firpo;
Riqui Puig and Aleña;
Dembélé, Braithwaite, and Konrad.
Semedo & Firpo: Weren’t involved in the game. Didn’t have an impact on either side of the
Lenglet: Congratulations to Lenglet for wearing the captain’s armband for the first time in his
Barcelona career! He had a solid cameo and guided the Blaugrana to carry out the win.
Riqui Puig: Riqui never fails to amaze us. Despite playing in the pivot role, the energy he
brought to the field was more than evident. His presence, along with the rest of the youth,
helped to rejuvenate the second half. His Iniesta-esque passes and exceptional movements were a joy to watch. Can’t wait to see what this season holds for him – given that he gets the game time he deserves!
Aleña: Much like the last game, the pivot role issues limitations over Aleña’s abilities and what
he can display on the pitch. Regardless, his performance was quite solid.
Pedri: Throughout the game, Pedri performed more centrally, and he didn’t disappoint. His
close control, and ability to take on defenders and create chances allowed Barça to remain a
goal threat. He’s yet another exciting prospect to keep an eye out for.
Dembélé: Although he wasn’t as involved in the game, his ability to stretch the field and take on
players always keeps the opposition on their toes while maintaining the team’s structure.
Dembélé’s performance provided a lot of optimism and promise. But for us to see him play at
his highest level, he still needs to work on his decision making and finishing.
Braithwaite: The Dane had one or two decent attempts on goal but besides that, he wasn’t
much involved. What role Braithwaite will play next season still remains a complete mystery…
Konrad: Electric performance from the La Masia boy! He was one of the stand-out performers
from this fixture and that was noticed by the Barcelona manager, Ronald Koeman. The width
Konrad provides is incredibly valuable and his speed and dribbling just add to that. Hopefully,
he continues improving and gets the chances he deserves.