Messi scores first goals since transfer saga in Barca friendly win

By Sports Desk September 16, 2020

Lionel Messi returned to the scoresheet in style with a brace in Barcelona's 3-1 friendly win over Girona on Wednesday.

The Blaugrana captain is set to see out the remaining year of his contract at Camp Nou after failing to secure a move away from his only senior club.

Messi was heavily linked with Manchester City but stayed at Barca despite announcing his frustration with the failed negotiations.

The number 10 returned to the fold for his side's first pre-season friendly under Ronald Koeman on Saturday, playing the first half against Gimnastic but failing to find the net.

Messi put that right against Girona, however, with a stunning right-footed strike from 20 yards crashing against the post and in on the stroke of half-time, although it prompted only an understated celebration.

A second followed after the restart, his shot deflecting beyond the wrong-footed goalkeeper and adding to Philippe Coutinho's opener.

Messi made way for Ousmane Dembele after 63 minutes and now has one more friendly remaining - the Joan Gamper Trophy against Elche - before Barca's LaLiga campaign begins at home to Villarreal on the weekend of September 26/27.

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    Krunic opened the scoring with a brilliant first-half free-kick and Dalot doubled Milan's lead with a classy strike early in the second period at Marcantonio Bentegodi on Sunday.

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    Milan made a positive start and they should have been in front when Rafael Leao headed Davide Calabria's whipped delivery over the crossbar.

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    Striker Leao twice fired over to ensure Verona trailed by just the one goal at the end of a one-sided first half.

    But Dalot put Milan two up just four minutes into the second half with a sublime finish, finding the top-right corner of the net with his right foot after throwing a clever dummy just outside the penalty area.

    Alexis Saelemaekers came close to a third goal when he drilled a venomous strike over the bar as Verona struggled to contain Milan.

    Federico Ceccherini headed wide at the other end with around 14 minutes to go and Krunic cleared Marco Faraoni’s header off the line as Milan secured three precious points.

     

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