OlotWith an unrepresentative goal from the football book that Xavi executed so well as a player, Barça would start their scoring box this pre-season. Long move from Ter Stegen that Aubameyang would turn, with just one touch, into a Vaseline to open the can. This goal would be the only one with a Barça stamp in the tie (1-1) to a packed Olot City Council that concluded a dream season: centenary and promotion to the second RFEF.
The staging of Xavi’s first eleven of the 2022-23 season had the great incentive of seeing in action the newcomers Franck Kessie and Pablo Torre, interiors accompanying Nico González, whom the Barça coach wants to prove as a pivot after ask him not to be in a hurry to leave on loan, which counts on him. The most experimental starting line, with permission from the midfield, would be the defense: with center-backs Arnau Casas and Mika Mármol as the starting pair – Piqué is not yet discharged, Christensen like the rest of the internationals is not he was still against Olot, and Umtiti and Mingueza do not count for Xavi and have the starting door open – while Dest started as a right winger and Àlex Valle, also from the youth team, on the left side. At the front, Aubamenyang as the new starter ahead of Ansu Fati on the bench, accompanied by Ilias Akhomach on the right – the pearl of the squad that Xavi already made his debut on the bench – and Ez Abde, who will leave yielded, to the left. In the goal, a well-known face: Ter Stegen.
The Gabonese striker has had the first clear chance of the game, but Albert Batalla has successfully solved the shot of the Barça striker. In fact, the Gabonese would rub the goal again, with a header after a precise cross from Kessie in the heart of the area. The ball, however, would crash into the crossbar. The former Milan player was emerging as one of Barça’s best players, without complicating his life, helping in defense, joining the attack and showing a good first touch. Calm down, though, that the preseason has just begun.
Olot, which was concluding its centenary season (despite being also its first pre-season match), did not want to be small despite having Barça, and Urri, with a tight shot from the front, also threatened the rival goal. Between Urri and veteran Eloi Amagat they tried to tickle Barça. But when the local team was more encouraged, Ter Stegen would serve a precise pass into space in Aubameyang that the Gabonese would solve with a Vaseline on the first touch to open the can and seal a counterattack that would only need two touches (0- 1, 28 ‘).
It seemed that the goal could neutralize Olot, but none of that, quite the opposite. At the break, Carles Mas sent a shot to the post after a lateral free kick by Eloi Amagat. With no time to regret, on the next occasion, the local team returned to the charge and Mika Mármol dropped Manzano inside the area. The referee Marc Oltra did not hesitate to whistle the maximum penalty and, with a shot close to the right post of Ter Stegen’s goal, the captain of the Olot team signed the tables (1-1, 24 ‘).
Ansu and Pedri enter the scene
In the second half Xavi would change almost all the cards: only Àlex Valle, who has gone from side to end on the left side, and Arnau Casas, center, have remained in the eleven. Pjanic would have minutes as a pivot, despite the fact that, a priori, the Bosnian is one of the candidates to leave the team this summer. With Pedri, Ansu and also Collado looking for each other on the pitch, Barça would move the ball faster, although the first opportunity in the second half would be for Olot, with a soft shot from Jordi Xumetra, a classic, who stopped Iñaki Peña without any problems. Barça’s response would come shortly after game time, with a shot on goal by Alex Valle. Aranda, inside the branch, would also try it, with two easy shots by Albert Batalla.
The clearest, however, would be for Pedri, who, after the time of the match, would stand alone in front of the Olot goalkeeper after a good pass from Àlex Valle, the best of Barça and the only one player that Xavi has not changed. Battle would win hand in hand to the canary. The last chance would be for the local team, but Eric Vilanova would run into the post shortly before the final whistle.