In the fourth test match of FC Barcelona there was the first bankruptcy – and deserved it. Barça had enormous problems with FC Red Bull Salzburg’s poisonous performance, in the end there was a 2-1 defeat, in which the defense in particular revealed weaknesses.
FC Barcelona suffered their first defeat in the fourth friendly. In front of a full house in the Red Bull Arena in Salzburg, the reigning Spanish Cup winner lost 1:2.
This time Ronald Koeman sent his eleven onto the field with a back three, and for the first time in preparation he tried out the tactical formations that he might have used successfully for large parts of the second half of last season. Frenkie de Jong moved into central defense alongside Clement Lenglet and Ronald Araujo, while Antoine Griezmann and Memphis Depay played the two-man attack at the front.
Ronald Araujo had the first real chance with a header after a corner, but the Uruguayan aimed too imprecisely (8′), two pointer turns later Lenglet did the same, who also headed over after a set piece.
Jordi Alba fails – Barcelona in luck
Red Bull Salzburg annoyed Barça with a venomous attack – this would have given the Austrians the lead: Jordi Alba allowed himself a catastrophic back pass to Neto, who was intercepted by Salzburg’s Sucic. After his cross pass in front of the goal, Okafor threw the ball free but over the orphaned goal – great luck for the Blaugrana playing in lilac (24th). Shortly afterwards it was Okafor with another chance, but this time the attacker missed.
Memphis narrowly over – Salzburg’s Okafür twice miserably
Then, suddenly, a game that didn’t really have the character of a test game went in quick succession – because both teams gave it their all: Memphis Depay had Barça’s best chance in the 36th minute, when he shook off his opponent with great body control on the left half, but then the ball went to the far corner whizzed by. A minute later, Griezmann lobbed over the goal. Then the Red Bulls had a monster chance – again it was the pitiable Okafor who miserably missed a monster chance free-standing in front of the goal (38′).
Barça’s three-man chain didn’t look very solid – just before the break the Catalans conceded the overdue one: Sucic plucked up courage from 30 meters and nailed the ball, which was slightly deflected – into the top left corner. Neto didn’t react at all, the 0:1 (43rd). With this residue it goes into the cabins.
Barça swims against poisonous Salzburg
But even after the restart, Barça looked extremely shaky and vulnerable at the back, Ronald Koeman could not be satisfied with the defensive performance of his men at all. Barça couldn’t cope with Salzburg’s intensity and toxicity at all and found themselves exposed to the waves of attacks one after the other – Koeman’s men could hardly keep the ball in their own ranks, scoring chances did not exist.
Alex Balde revitalizes Barcelona
It lasted until the 68th minute, when substitute left-back Alex Balde revived the game. RB keeper Mantl parried his beautiful long-range shot strongly. A small period of dominance for the Catalans began, but it didn’t really result in any real chances to score.
Salzburg lurked in the final stages of a counterattack, Barça then let the ball circulate – and then scored the equalizer in the 83rd minute, albeit very lucky: Sergiño Dest pulled in from the right and took a heart from the edge of the box, deflected twice – Braithwaite was the last on the ball – the ball slipped flat into the goal to make it 1-1.
The Red Bulls looked exhausted – understandable given the pace that the hosts had gone a good 65 minutes – the Blaugrana pushed for the winner at the end. But he eventually fell out at the other end: Adamu hit the post from the melee and Aaronson chipped in to make it 2-1 winner. A few moments later it was over, FC Barcelona’s first bankruptcy test in the pre-season after three wins beforehand.
A result that was well deserved given Barcelona’s shaky performance at the Red Bull Arena. The first real endurance test, it clearly showed Barça’s problems. There is still work to be done for Koeman.