Ronald Koeman started his German tour with a 3-0 win against Stuttgart. The victory makes it 3/3 for the Barca coach who is looking to build on from his adventures last season.
FC Barcelona came into the match on the back of double victories against minnows Gimnastic Tarragona and Girona FC. While the likes of Ansu Fati, Ter Stegen, Dembele and Coutinho are still recovering from injury, most of the senior team players has returned to Camp Nou and were included in the match day squad.
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Griezmann and Depay started the game as well as youngsters Gavi and Demir.
The game started with a lot of energy from both sides. Depay found himself inside the opponents half but was brought down inside the penalty box after he lost his marker with a quick “snake bite”. The referee didn’t give the penalty though.
However, Depay was not relentless and would go on to score a spectacular goal in the 21st minute with an exquisite skill. Frenkie De Jong picked him up with a lofty pass, and Depay controlled the ball inside the area, dribbled the oncoming Stuttgart player with a knee lob before firing a powerful shot past the goalkeeper to give Barca the lead.
In the 36th minute, De Jong was close by once again, and dropped a well timed pass for Demir who quickly tapped in the effort to put the Catalans two goals ahead.
Although Stuttgart threatened to bite, it was Gavi who came to the rescue after anticipating the pass inside Barca’s half. He quickly positioned himself in time to cut the supply to a Stuttgart player who would have easily buried the ball in the back of the net. Gavi was exceptional all through the match, and had a synchronized play with De Jong in the middle of the field.
But, Barca were not finished for the night. A perfect Griezmann pass in the 73rd minute was ably converted by Riqui Puig who replaced Gavi in the 62nd minute of the match. That will come as a big morale booster for the young lad seeing as Koeman for some reason, don’t seem to see him in his plans for the 2021/2022 season.
Rey Manaj did miss a sitter after he replaced Griezmann in the 79th minute. But, his blushes can be forgiven since the match was already won by then. He has also scored four goals so far in the preseason.
Barca will now travel to Austria to face Salzburg before going back to Spain for the Gamper Trophy match against Juventus.