Barcelona vs Girona LIVE!
Barcelona’s preparations for the new season continue with a preseason friendly against Girona this evening.
Barca’s 2019/20 season ended in desperate fashion: the Blaugrana lost their LaLiga title to rivals Real Madrid before crashing out of the Champions League semi-finals in a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich.
That defeat cost Ernesto Valverde his job, while talisman Lionel Messi tried and failed to leave the club as Barca president Josep Maria Bartomeu won the contract standoff – for now, at least.
New head coach Ronald Koeman now has the huge task of attempting to bring an openly defiant Messi back onside, while Barca must find a way to restore their domestic dominance and also compete in Europe.
With kick-off at 6pm BST, follow the action with Ben Hayward!
55 mins: alba holds his head as his low ball finds nobody and goes all the way through to the Girona goalkeeper…
52 mins: Messi on the opposite side to his first goal, turns and hits a low shot from outside the box which beats Juan Carlos and restores Barca’s two-goal advantage…
GOAL | Barcelona 3-1 Girona | Lionel Messi 51′
49 mins: Messi looks to get a shot away in the Girona area, but a defender clears the ball off his feet…
47 mins: De Jong with a terrible pass right into the path of a rival player in his half. Jairo plays it into the area for Samu Saiz and he slots low past Neto. Hard to understand what the Dutch midfielder was doing there, but better in a friendly than in a proper match…
GOAL ! Barcelona 2-1 Girona | Samu Saiz 46′
Girona get the second half under way!
Riqui Puig is coming on for Barcelona….
Koeman changed his entire XI at the break against Nastic on Saturday. Will be interesting to see what he does in today’s friendly…
HALF TIME | Barcelona 2-0 Girona
45 mins: Messi receives the ball from Busquets, turns and hits a fierce drive in off the post with his (supposedly weaker) right foot from outside the area to make it 2-0!
GOAL | Barcelona 2-0 Girona | Lionel Messi 45′
44 mins: Messi lines it up 24 yards out and goes for placement. Juan Carlos stretches to parry the Argentine’s effort, which may have been creeping in…
43 mins: De Jong obstructed outside the area. Free-kick to Barcelona in a dangerous position…
41 mins: A near-post corner is flicked on, but goes out of play for a goal kick…
40 mins: Coutinho cuts in and makes space to shoot on the edge of the area, but his right-footed effort is parried by Juan Carlos…
39 mins: Alba takes another blow, this time in his own area. Not his evening so far…
37 mins: Good link-up play by Girona around the Barca area, but the final ball is too strong and goes out for a goal kick…
35 mins: Frenkie de Jong gives the ball away in midfield and a Girona attacker runs into the area, but Araujo is with him all the way and defends impeccably by pushing his rival wide and then making the clearance…
34 mins: A Girona attack breaks down on the left…
Kick-off time and venue
Barcelona vs Girona is scheduled for a 6pm BST kick-off.
The match will be played behind closed doors at Estadi Johan Cruyff with no fans due to be present due to government guidelines regarding coronavirus.
How to watch
The match will be televised live on Barcelona’s Barça TV+ streaming service and also on Barça TV. Click here for more information.
Barcelona XI: Neto, Roberto, Pique, Araujo, Alba, Busquets, De Jong, Trincao, Messi, Coutinho, Griezmann
Girona XI: Juan Carlos, Calavera, Alcala, Espinosa, Mojica, Gumbau, Kebe, Fernandez, Saiz, Izquierdo, Turmo
Prediction: Barcelona 3-1 Girona
There should be few issues for Barca against a side who finished fifth in Segunda B last term; expect plenty of rotation from Koeman, and a comfortable win.