Barcelona continued their preseason preparations with another friendly against a Catalan rival, and they made it two wins from two at the Johan Cruyff Stadium thanks to a 3-1 victory against Girona. After a slow start the Blaugrana showed good things in both halves, and Memphis Depay had a strong showing and a goal in his Barça debut.
Barça had a slow start to the game and saw Girona dominate possession in the first 15 minutes, and although there weren’t any chances the visitors looked really solid with the ball. Then Riqui Puig and Yusuf Demir started to make their impact in the game and Sergiño Dest and Alejandro Balde began bringing danger from the full-back positions, and Barça took control.
And they got two goals in quick succession: first it was Balde who was fouled inside the box, and Gerard Piqué’s penalty was almost saved by Juan Carlos but eventually went in. Three minutes later a gorgeous pass from Puig found Mortimer who crossed it to Rey Manaj, and the striker’s fourth goal in two games made it 2-0 for Barça.
Then Mortimer gave away a penalty with a silly handball, and Samu Saiz scored to bring Girona back in the game. Manaj then went off with a slight head injury and Memphis Depay came on to make his debut, and the Dutchman was immediately involved in the action and showed plenty of good things.
At halftime, Barça were ahead and playing well after a slow start, but Girona were still in it.
Koeman made eight changes in the 60th minute and a lot of first team players came on for their first action of preseason, and their lack of fitness showed as Barça struggled to keep up the same pace from the first half. But Memphis was hungry and sharp, and he led the charge as Barça continued to attack and create good moments.
The best chances came when Miralem Pjanic hit the bar and Antoine Griezmann dragged a shot just wide, and with five minutes to go Griezmann’s attempted dribble inside the box was intercepted with a handball by Mojica and Barça were given their second penalty of the day.
Memphis stepped up, scored with confidence and made it 3-1 to finish things off. The final whistle came, and Barça are two-for-two in preseason with solid performances from the young players and an encouraging debut for Memphis.
Barcelona: Peña; Dest (Gomes 60’), Piqué (Lenglet 60’), Umtiti (Comas 60’), Balde (Ndiaye 60’); Roberto (De Jong 60’), González (Pjanic 60’), Puig (Gavi 60’); Demir (Collado 60’), Manaj (Memphis 42’), Mortimer (Griezmann 60’)
Goals: Piqué (pen 21’), Manaj (24’), Memphis (pen 85’)
Girona: Carlos; Calavera, Juanpe, Martínez, Jairo; Terrats; Fernández, Gumbau, Kebé, Saiz; Stuani
Goal: Saiz (pen 42’)