Barcelona got their pre-season campaign underway this evening, taking on Gimnastic at Estadi Johan Cruyff in Catalonia and coming away from the outing with strong 4-0 win.
Ronald Koeman fielded a youthful lineup with many of his first-teamers not yet back in full training, although he did include the likes of Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto.
It was Rey Manaj, however, who got the blaugrana off the mark on the hour, the 24-year-old Barcelona B man from Albania letting rip with a golazo to give his team the lead.
Barcelona dominated possession, not much of a surprise given Gimnastic were reduced to ten men in the 38th minute after Alex Quintanilla Urionabarrenetxea saw a red card.
Alex Collado doubled Barcelona’s lead heading into the final five minutes, the promising youngster seeing his deflected effort steer past the goalkeeper after carrying it forward well.
Manaj popped up again in the 86th and 90th minutes to complete a remarkable hat-trick and put himself in the thoughts of all Barcelona fans – for tonight, at least.
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