Hello culés and welcome to the 20/21 season! Barcelona kicked off the preseason with a friendly against Gimnastic. Plenty of new faces were on display today, including Ronald Koeman as he faces his first match in his Barcelona managerial career. Before the match, Koeman specified that every player would play with the exception of a few Barcelona B players. Notably, Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal were left off of the squad, possibly due to their transfer sagas, but we will not get into that right now.
Koeman started with a seasoned Barcelona side, including many players from last season. Dembele was the first to get on the score sheet in his first match since his last brutal injury that occurred in the middle of last season. A simple square pass was played into the area, but it was the youngster Pedri who created the chance as he let the ball play between his legs which allowed Dembele to control and tuck the ball into the back of the net.
Minutes later, a penalty was called in favor of Barcelona as Pique was taken down in the box. It was the other Frenchman, Greizmann that stepped up and scored to make it 2-1. Gimnastic was able to cut the deficit by 1 as their shot for outside the box left Neto standing and staring as the ball hit the back of the net. Not much else occurred in the first half as Barcelona was lackluster to say the least.
The second half had plenty of new faces as a much younger team took the field. Five minutes into the second half was all it took for Coutinho to make his mark on the match as he capitalized on a penalty kick. The young squad dominated possession and created chances but was unable to score again. The match ended in a 3-1 Barcelona victory.
Key points from the match
- Pedri is sure to be a future Barcelona star. The youngster took advantage of the platform and produced a brilliant display in the first half linking well with his teammates. More notably, Trincao was simply astonishing tonight. We heard the hype about the Portuguese international and we witnessed what he can do on the pitch today. It will be exciting to see how Koeman plays him this season.
- Riqui Puig. Need we say more? Puig was clearly the best midfielder on the pitch today. His dazzling runs and touches were brilliant. He never made a wrong decision and will hopefully receive more playing time from Koeman. He is definitely the future of Barcelona.
- The backline continues to be unimpressive. It is clear that Barcelona need a new backline. They were mediocre at best to a mid table side from the second division. No communication and just outright old. The Barcelona backline will be a huge concern this season and needs to be addressed. It is inevitable that Barcelona will lose matches because of the backlines lack of energy.