Braithwaite, on the rebound, scores Barça’s goal in the first preseason defeat
Although in this preseason he had returned to 4-3-3, and seemed to have buried the bet for the three centrals, Ronald Koeman he has once again dusted off in Salzburg the scheme with which he tried to re-float Barça last season. In the penultimate pre-season game, and 11 days after the start of LaLiga, the return to 3-5-2 has resulted in little offensive production from Barcelona and the first defeat of the pre-season.
“It is important to be able to change the system. The three centrals gave us a lot last year, that system was the best. It is important in preseason to return to it. I do not want to say that we are going to continue with it,” said the coach after a last duel for water that he has considered a “good workout”. “I don’t like to lose but after a week of ‘stage’ I’m happy”.
In the first half, Barcelona’s creation was limited to a couple of shots from Memphis and a pair of centers in set pieces from the Dutchman who headed Araujo and Lenglet. In a nondescript opening act, the most interesting thing was to see Gavi’s movements with and without the ball. The canterano, who will turn 17 this Thursday, continues to arouse admiration, being together with Depay the most exciting of these first steps of the new course.
Salzburg, with more filming because they have already played two Austrian Bundesliga games, had the clearest chances in the opening act. Okafor has missed two balls in the small area, the first after a bad transfer of Sunrise to grandson and the second against after a petroleum jelly attempt of Griezmann. The Austrian goal ended up coming after a long shot from Sucic bounced off De Jong.
The second half, despite the nine changes of the premises, has continued with the same script. A Barça without mordant and without control of the game to which Okafor continued to spare his life, wasting a mistake by De Jong, in the role of central with Araujo and Lenglet. The versatile Dutchman could not exploit his arrival there, in the same way that with the change of system the full-backs were not so surprising and Memphis and Griezmann intervened little in the game.
The entrance of Balde has awakened a bit to the Catalans. In no time at all, he has tempered a good cross for Braithwaite and later put the rival goal to the test with a powerful long shot. The canterano, who after his two good performances against Girona and Nàstic had not played against Stuttgart, has once again applied as a replacement for the left back. Umtiti and Braithwaite, two who had also missed the last friendly and who the club wants to start, have had the last half hour to show off. The Dane ended up scoring the equalizer after Dest’s shot hit first a defender and then the Scandinavian striker.
Aaronson has decreed the first culé defeat on the horn, taking advantage of the rejection of a shot to the stick from Adamu.
Salzburg: Mantl (Kohn, m.46), Ludewir (Piatkowski, m.46), Onguene (Adamu, m.46), Wöber, (Guindo, m.46), Ulmer (Aaronson, m.46); Bernede (Sesko, c. 57), Capaldo (Diambou, c. 46), Camara (Junuzovic, c. 46), Sucic (Solet, c. 46); Okafor (Seiwald, m. 57) and Adeyemi (Kriestensen, m. 46).
Barcelona: Net; Dest, Araujo (Comas, m. 63), Lenglet (Umtiti, m. 73), Alba, (Balde, m. 63); Busquets (Braithwaite, m. 63), De Jong (Manaj, m. 83), Nico González (Sergi Roberto, m. 63), Gavi, (Riqui Puig, m. 73); Griezmann, (Demir, d. 73) and Memphis
Goals: 1-0 Sucic (m.43); 1-1 Braithwaite (c. 83) 2-1 Aaronson (c. 89).
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.