Barcelona got their pre-season campaign underway this evening, taking on Gimnastic at Estadi Johan Cruyff in Catalonia.
Ronald Koeman fielded a youthful lineup with many of his first-teamers not yet back in full training, although he did include the likes of Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.
It was Rey Manaj, however, who got the blaugrana off the mark on the hour, the 24-year-old Barcelona B man from Albania letting rip with a golazo to give his team the lead.
Barcelona dominated possession, not much of a surprise given Gimnastic were reduced to ten men in the 38th minute after Alex Quintanilla Urionabarrenetxea saw a red card.
— Esteban 🇦🇷 (@papismithy) July 21, 2021
Barcelona will hope for a strong start to pre-season to enable them to begin the new season with confidence after a poor end to 2020/21 that saw them blow the title late on.
Lionel Messi’s future is yet to be resolved, however, and there’s still a good few uncertainties regarding their transfer activity. Koeman will be focusing on what’s happening on the pitch.