FC Barcelona started their pre-season at the Johan Cruyff Stadium on Wednesday with a 4-0win against Nastic. Alex Collado got one goal, while Rey Manaj got a hat-trick. The B Team players were the ones to shine in this one since the majority of the first team players are on holiday.
Ronald Koeman started with Dest, Pique, Balde, Umtiti, Pjanic, Puig, Roberto, Demir, Escobar, and Polo as the eleven. The team played very well in the first half, Demir had a half chance as well. He was the standout player for the team in the first 45 minutes. He dribbled past defenders, did a lot of skills, and helped out defensively. His tenacity and enthusiasm was visible on the pitch. He even gave a ton of key passes, looked for players in the box, and read the game really well.
The second half was an even more dominant performance from the team. Majority of the team changed with the introduction of Manaj, Collado, Gavi, Mousa, Penia, Comas, Mingo, Hiroki, Matheus, Mortimer, and Gomes. The most standout player was Gavi, playing in a free role, as he did not lose the ball even once. Rey Manaj opened the scoring at the hour mark with a shot outside the box, and then Collado scored one in a similar fashion when the ball got deflected off a Nastic defender and found itself into the net.
Rey Manaj got two more goals, one with a header from a Hiroki assist, and another from a penalty that he put away, getting his third of the game. It was a game with fans in the stadium, and a dominant performance from the team.
Koeman: “The young kids are really good in the second half. We have to focus on the physical aspect. The result was positive, we pressured and controlled the opponent, especially after their player was sent off. The Stuttgart-Salzburg match will be at the highest level and is an occasion to determine the players’ readiness. In the coming days, the remaining players will join us to train together. The match was good, it was a little strange to see the fans in the stadium, fortunately things are starting to return to normal”.
Alex Collado: “I will not return to Barça B. I’m going to work hard to have minutes in the first team. The intention is to continue working and stay at Barça. Nothing can be ruled out, but the intention is to be in the first team.”
Barcelona play their next friendly on Saturday against Girona at the Johan Cruyff stadium.
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