Messi, Coutinho on the scoresheet in Barcelona's win over Girona in friendly
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Messi, Coutinho on the scoresheet in Barcelona's win over Girona in friendly

Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho scored as Barcelona recorded a 3-1 win over Girona in a friendly match staged on Wednesday night.

Messi set up Coutinho for Barcelona’s opener in the 21st minute with the Argentine scoring his first after 45 minutes, spinning on the edge of the penalty area and drilling a shot in off the base of the far post. He was to bag his brace and Barca’s third with a deflected shot, after 50 minutes. And was to be substituted after an hour.

Messi only returned to training at the start of last week after telling the club’s management that he wanted to leave. It was his second game since the saga having started Barcelona's first friendly on Saturday, playing 45 minutes without scoring in a 3-1 victory over third-tier Gimnastica Tarragona.

Barcelona used 20 players in Wednesday's game at the club's training centre but neither Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez nor Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal appeared.

Speaking about Suarez after the game, Koeman said he was open to having the player at the club.

"If finally he does not find a team and ends up staying, he will be one more player for the squad," said Koeman.

After sitting out of the first week of the league, Barcelona will open their league campaign on September 26 or 27 against Villarreal.

 

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