Ronald Koeman’s Barça acquitted themselves wonderfully well in their second pre-season friendly of the 2020/21 campaign against Girona.
Both sides eased themselves gently into the game at the Johan Cruyff Stadium with little goalmouth action until the fifth minute when Philippe Coutinho’s deflected shot came back off of the woodwork.
That was the cue for the Blaugranes to press high and keep Girona on the back foot, with Trincão providing a wonderful moment of skill during a typical Barça passing move.
A weak shot on target from the visitors on 12 minutes was the closest they came in the opening exchanges as Barça, in their pink and green change strip, continued to set the tone and rhythm of the match.
A great cross from Coutinho saw Lionel Messi bring a sharp save from Juan Carlos with Ronald Araujo’s follow up being similarly repelled. Within a minute, however, the Brazilian scored the first of the game thanks to some great play from Messi and Trincão, and it was no more than the hosts deserved.
Five minutes before half-time, a typical Coutinho run and finish almost doubled Barça’s tally, Juan Carlos parrying the shot away from goal. A one-handed save also stopped Messi from netting from a free-kick.
Right on half-time Messi wouldn’t be denied, his stunning right foot shot nestling itself in the Girona net via the upright.
Directly after the restart, Samuel Sáiz fired home for Girona after a mistake at the back, but within five minutes a deflected Messi shot made it 3-1, thanks to some more intricate play from Trincáo in the build up.
Just after the hour, Ronald Koeman took the chance to change the dynamic, with Neto and Araujo the only Barça players of those who started the game to remain on the pitch.
Nélson Semedo and Pedri worked Juan Carlos again, the keeper almost certainly Girona’s man of the match on the night.
Konrad de la Fuente was a constant thorn in the visitors’ side in his cameo appearance, with Ousmane Dembélé on the opposite side almost adding a fourth with 15 to play.
Pedri can also be happy with his performance, in what was an excellent evening’s work for the Blaugranes.