UE Olot 1-1 FC Barcelona: Preseason opens with a draw

UE Olot 1-1 FC Barcelona: Preseason opens with a draw

Aubameyang's opener cancelled out by a penalty as the first meeting between these sides for 42 years ends all-square

The last time we saw FC Barcelona in action was on the other side of the world in Sydney. Today’s game was somewhat more local, against fellow Catalan side Olot. With a mixture of experience and new blood, there was a lot to admire in Xavi Hernández’s side.


And although it would clearly have been nicer to get the preseason off to a winning start, the result was less important here than the chance to ready the players for the many bigger challenges that lie ahead. 

Kessie debut

Barça’s new signing Franck Kessie was among the eleven starters donning the brand new golden away strip. But the Ivorian was anything but the only debutant in Xavi’s selection. Barça Atlètic midfielder Pablo Torre (recently signed from Racing Santander), and defenders Álex Valle and Arnau Casas of the U19 team also got to make their first team debuts.

Moroccan centre back Chadi Riad, and U19 midfielders Fabio Blanco and Marc Casadó would also get chances to make their debuts in the second half.

Auba on fire

However, the face of the first half was a more familiar one. Aubameyang was everywhere. Torre and Kessie each served up beautiful passes to the Gabonese striker. The first shot was saved brilliantly and the second hit the bar, before Auba finally did find the net with a tremendous lob from the right corner.

The long ball up the park from Ter Stegen to set it up was pretty tasty too!

Olot level up

The home side, who have celebrated their centenary with promotion but are still one division below the Barça reserves, refused to let the occasion get to them. Moments after hitting the post, they were able to go in at the break on level terms after Mika Mármol conceded a penalty and the veteran Eloi Amagat slotted home.

Pedri returns

There were wholesale changes at the break, including the marvellous sight of Pedri back in action after recovering from injury, Miralem Pjanić back from his loan spell at Beşiktaş and Ansu Fati not only getting his first post-summer run-out, but doing so wearing the captain’s armband.

The heat was stifling and the home side also many changes, including the introduction of Gonzalo Pereira, whose sister Andrea we all know from the Barça women’s team.

Thanks Olot!

But it was Barça 2.0 who looked well on top. Young sub Antonio Aranda had a cracking chance, Álex Valle was the second player to hit the crossbar and Pedri was out-thwarted not once but twice by the home keeper when through one-on-one.

All credit has to go to Olot for holding on, and sensing a famous victory was on the cards the home side drove hard in chase a late something. And had it not been for two great saves from Iñaki Peña, they would have got it.

All in all, it was a fine test to warm the players into the new season. Next up are four games in the United States, where the internationals who just got back on Monday will be added to the blaugrana mix.


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Força Barça

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