Ronald Koeman's FC Barcelona finished their second match of preseason with another victory (3-1 Girona). There were signs of improvement, fresh blood, as the youngsters continued to generate most of the dangerous moments in the opponent's half. As the match wore on, Girona's experience and defensive shape took over, but it was still another promising performance.
One of Koeman's remits is creating a solid block in defence and making the team much more difficult to break down. Against Girona, mistakes were made in areas they simply can't be going forward. Frenkie de Jong is still building up his sharpness but struggled alongside Sergio Busquets. Riqui Puig, Pedri, Konrad and company freshened up the side in the second half and brought some much needed bite back in the attack.
"We've tried to make it so everyone played 60 minutes which is why we kept the same side for an hour. Those who came on for the last 30 minutes will need to complete an extra 30 minutes of training so there's no difference and everyone worked the same," Koeman confirmed. "I'm happy. I think we played some really nice stuff from the back and we always had an extra man in midfield. We played too narrow in attack and we must play more open. In general, we played well and we're slowly building up to 100% ahead of the LaLiga season."
When asked about Luis Suarez and why he wasn't picked for this match, Koeman was very clear. "If Suarez ends up staying here then he will become another member of the squad. I spoke with him this morning. We don't know if he's going to stay or leave."
Another player who caught the eye, this time for what he's doing on the pitch, was Coutinho. "Philippe is working really hard. He looks really confident. He's training and playing well. You have to remember he's got so much quality. Every player needs support and help from their coach."