Barcelona vs. Gimnàstic de Tarragona – Match Report – July 21, 2021

Barcelona vs.  Gimnàstic de Tarragona - Match Report - July 21, 2021

(EFE) – Four goals in the second half by players from the subsidiary, three by Rey Manaj and one by Álex Collado, gave Barcelona victory against Nàstic de Tarragona in a match in which the First RFEF team played with 10 players from minute 38.

The opening of the Barça preseason, which was attended by President Joan Laporta in the Johan Cruyff Stadium box, was at half throttle, lacking rhythm and scoring chances. The intense heat it did not help the show.

Ronald Koeman started the seven first-team players called up: Neto, Sergiño Dest, Gerard Piqué as captain, Miralem Pjanic, Riqui Puig, Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti. In addition, the Austrian pearl Yusuf Demir debuted up front, although he arrived this summer to strengthen the subsidiary, it is not ruled out that he may have minutes with the first team during the season.

Starting from the right, Demir left details of how much he can contribute to Barça and a good first impression on the Culer fans, who applauded him on different occasions.

The first great goal opportunity did not come until minute 26, when Riqui Puig put a ball hanging in the area that Sergi Roberto finished off with a volley and that Manu García cleared for a corner with his fingertips. The Reus midfielder also had the goal two minutes later, this time with a header, but was again met with a worthwhile save from the Andalusian goalkeeper of Nàstic.

In 38 came the great script twist of an insipid encounter. Riqui Puig, one of the most prominent Barça footballers, stole a ball in front of the area and forced Álex Quintanilla to set foot to prevent him from being alone in front of the goalkeeper. The referee, Alejandro Muñiz, had no doubts and showed him the direct red card despite it being a pre-season friendly.

Koeman revolutionized his team at halftime and changed the eleven players, leaving his team without any player with a first-team record. The captain’s armband was kept by Álex Collado, another member of the subsidiary that Koeman could bet on during the course.

Nàstic’s resistance lasted until the 61st minute, when Rey Manaj turned inside the area and executed a powerful shot that slipped into the goal after stroking the crossbar. Precisely Collado in 85 made it 2-0 with a kick from the edge of the area that slightly deflected the Tarragona defense.

The 3-0 was the work of Rey Manaj just a minute later, when he finished off a millimeter center from Hiroki Abe with his chest at will. The Albanian footballer completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot in the 90th.

This was the first Barça game at home that could have an audience since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The Barça team had not played with the face-to-face support of their fans since March 7, 2020, when they beat Real Sociedad 1-0 at the Camp Nou. This time he did it at the Johan Cruyff Stadium in his sports city, where 2,037 spectators were able to gather.

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