Barcelona vs Gimnastic Tarragona LIVE Football Match Score July 21/7/2021
Barcelona begin their preparations for a crucial new season this week as they take on Gimnastic Tarragona in a pre-season friendly at the Estadi Johan Cruyff on Wednesday. The two Catalan sides have traditionally played a friendly in July and will look to seize the initiative in this match. Gimnastic Tarragona plied their trade in Segunda Division B last year and can pack a punch on their day. The Catalan outfit is making a few changes to its squad this year and will be intent on proving its mettle this week.
Barcelona, on the other hand, seem a resurgent force under Ronald Koeman and will need to win silverware this season. The Blaugrana are equipped with a blend of youth and experience this year and have a point to prove in the coming weeks. Pedri is representing Spain at the Olympics and will be unable to feature in this game. Ansu Fati, Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, and Marc-Andre ter Stegen are currently recovering from long-term injuries and have been ruled out of this match.
The likes of Mikel Arteta, Joachim Low and former Catalan great Xavi were all tipped to take over from the Dutchman, but Joan Laporta has instilled his faith in Koeman for at least another 12 months as the 58-year-old seeks to establish his side’s dominance both domestically and continentally once again.
After finishing seven points adrift of Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and falling to a 5-2 aggregate defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League last 16, Koeman would have ideally liked to have dipped into a war chest for a busy summer of spending, but it has not panned out that way for the cash-strapped Catalans.
While the likes of Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia and Memphis Depay represent impressive coups on free transfers, the trio reportedly cannot be registered for La Liga action until Barca trim their wage bill further, which could lead to a mass exodus of big earners in the coming weeks.
However, undoubtedly the biggest story from the Catalans’ camp is the absence of Lionel Messi – now officially a free agent after running down his Barcelona contract – but negotiations over a new contract for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner continue to rumble on in the background as Koeman keeps his eyes firmly on Wednesday’s game.
As their name suggests, Gimnastic will need to produce an impressive array of tricks if they are to condemn Barcelona – albeit a heavily altered and inexperienced one – to an opening pre-season defeat this week.
Taking part in the inaugural Primera Division RFEF, Gimnastic head into the 2021-22 campaign after topping their old Segunda Division B group last term, and they have been rewarded with league fixtures versus Barcelona, Real Madrid and Villarreal’s youth setups in the third tier.
Newly-appointed manager Raul Agne will relish the opportunity to pit his side’s wits against a crop of Barcelona’s youngsters this week before the league campaign commences, and this will be the first time that Gimnastic have taken to the field since being humbled 4-0 by Ibiza in May.
Gimnastic head into Wednesday’s battle having succumbed to defeat in their last five competitive meetings with Barcelona – including a 10-1 humiliation back in 1949 – and Messi’s brace alongside goals from Ronaldinho, Carles Puyol and Gianluca Zambrotta saw La Blaugrana win 5-1 when these sides last met in the 2006-07 La Liga season.