Ronald Koeman He got an eleven of circumstances for the first friendly of the preseason against the Gimnàstic de Tarragona. An alignment with six footballers from the first team and four young footballers from the quarry. A classic line-up in these moments of preparation for a duel against a lesser rival who did what he could. In the first half, the Tarragona team stayed on their feet thanks, above all, to the great performance of their goalkeeper, Manu García, who was sensational.
The clash began calmly, something natural being the first meeting of this preseason. Barça dominated with the ball with Riqui Puig and Yusuf Demir, who made his debut this Wednesday with the Barça team, as the most outstanding players. The one from Matadepera was precisely one of the protagonists of the first great occasion for the Catalans. The ’12’ saw the unchecking of Sergi Roberto, he put it on perfectly and the Reus tried to beat the goal of the Tarragona team, who miraculously saved his team.
The Nàstic goalkeeper was superb and saved his team from conceding up to three clear goals. The visitors were holding up well to Barça, despite Roberto’s clear chance, but in the 38th minute the referee ‘loaded’ the game by expelling Quintanilla with a direct red card after a hard foul on Riqui. Manu García had to appear then with two good stops to Pjanic and Peque to allow the Tarragona to arrive tied at halftime.
In the intermission, Koeman changed the entire team so as not to force any of the starters and took out eleven homegrown players to try to win the game. Rey Manaj was one of those who jumped onto the pitch and the subsidiary’s ‘9’ took just a quarter of an hour to show why he was B’s top scorer last year. The Albanian scored an authentic ‘killer’ goal in the 60th minute to set the score in favor of the culés.
Manaj, the great star of the second part
The ex of the Albacete received from the right inside the area and after controlling making hollow with the body put it near the square by the first stick. A Powerful shot with a low angle that surprised the Nàstic goalkeeper, who barely saw the ball. A genius of maneuvering and finishing of a striker who at 24 years old seems that he will not continue in the B and that he could go to a Primera this summer.
Manaj himself had the 2-0 in his head a few minutes later, but the Tarragona goalkeeper cleared his header, which was too focused. The rebound could have ended in a goal, but Oriol was attentive and avoided the Albanian goal. Luckily not long after Álex Collado left his mark on the duel with a lucky shot with his left foot from outside the area that bounced off a Nàstic defender and slipped into the goal.
Just a few minutes after the second, again Manaj finished sentencing the match after scoring a magnificent cross from Hiroki Abe with his chest. The Japanese put it to the far post with a subtle pass with his left foot and the ‘9’ did not miss on goal. In 89, the one from Lushnjë completed an afternoon to remember from the penalty spot, transforming a maximum penalty. In the end, 4-0 ‘made in’ La Masia to launch a preseason that will be more than interesting.