Skip menu

Main menu

Content menu

Top of page


Link to related content


Marcador del partit

  • Date: Sunday, 21 Jan
  • Competition: ???label.competicio0???
  • Stadium: Camp Nou, Barcelona


  • FC Barcelona: 3
  • Gimnàstic: 0

Match report

Match Report


1-0, Saviola (min. 17)
2-0, Giuly (min. 67)
3-0, Iniesta (min. 81)

Winter Champions (3-0)

Barça returned to the top of the table and claimed the title of 'winter champions' after defeating Gimnastic (3-0) in a game with relatively few scoring chances. Goals from Saviola, Giuly and Iniesta sealed a hard earned victory.

The champions showed 5 changes in the starting line-up, including the return of Thuram at centre-half, Oleguer and Zambrotta in defence and Saviola in attack. Tonight's win earned Barça the title of winter champions although they had to work hard to break down a Gimnastic side that played well and looked a far cry from being the first division's bottom side.

The goals from Javier Saviola, Ludovic Giuly and Andres Iniesta earned three vital points for FC Barcelona and at the same time confirmed the honorary title of 'winter champions' even though there is still one game outstanding (v Betis). The game proved to be much more difficult than could have been anticipated as Paco Flores' Gimnastic stood up to Barça throughout with a game plan based on putting the Barça midfield under pressure.

Although they did not have any clear scoring opportunities - Valdes was a mere spectator throughout - the Tarragona side did not look out of their depth against the league champions and showed with their performance that they still a have to avoid relegation. For their part Barça, more practical than on other occasions, had the patience necessary to overcome the Tarragona team. Rikjaard got it right in the second half by bringing on Iniesta and Gudjohnsen, the two players gave Barcelona a new impetus in the second period and contributed decidedly with the second and third goals for Barça.

Saviola makes the breakthrough

Javier Saviola, the man of the moment, made the breakthrough on 17 minutes to undo the good start from Gimnàstic. Paco Flores men held out well for the first quarter and gave a good account of themselves. However, all that changed with Saviola's strike, when the argentinian forward pounced on a defensive lapse to score the first goal of the game.

After the initial breakthrough the match became a little bit dull, without clear chances, with tight marking - above all on Ronaldinho - Frank Rikjaard's players did not seem comfortable in possession. In the 38 minute Saviola was again the protagonist, after heading against the bar, following Deco's cross from the right. Unfortunately, Robinho Perez, the match referee, subsequently blew for a foul by Saviola on Calvo.

Iniesta, searching for new ideas

After the restart, the match continued along the same lines as in the first few minutes of the game. Gimnàstic, with a defensive web in midfield and well organized in defence stopped Barcelona from playing their usual passing game. Even Carles Pujol on more than one occasion pushed forward in attack due to the problems Barça were encountering in midfield. At this point, Frank Rikjaard sent Iniesta into the fray to bring fresh ideas to the Barça midfield.

The best move of the second period, however, came from Oleguer Presas, who in the 64 minute met a magnificent pass from Ronaldinho with a cross come shot, but Bizzarri was aware to the danger. A minute later, Rikjaard substituted Saviola and brought on Eidur Gudjohsen.

Giuly seals the game

The substitute Gudjohnsen proved decisive with his contribution to Barça's second goal. In the 67 minute, a good cross from Ronaldinho from the right wing was met by Gudjonhsons' head and just when the Camp Nou was about to celebrate another goal, ex-barça player Mingo somehow managed to push the ball onto the cross bar, only for it to fall at the feet of Ludovic Giuly who made no mistake to score the second goal of the night.

The third goal arrives

Once again, Eidur Gudjohnsen was to play a part in another Barcelona goal. A pass meant for the scandinavian forward, who was waiting with his back to goal, allowed Ronaldinho the chance to shoot at goal. However Bizzari, the ex-goalkeeper of Valladolid, stuck out a hand to block the shot but the rebound felt kindly to Andres Iniesta who found the back of the Gimnàstic net with a right footed shot. The goal ended the scoring in a game that proved to be much more difficult for Barça than the final score of 3-0 would suggest.




Barça and Gimnastic have only ever played three times in the league with Barça as the home side. Last time out was at Barça's former stadium 'Les Corts' half a century ago when the home side notched up an emphatic 10-1 win (season 1949-1950) Of the two other meetings, one was drawn (1-1, season 1947-1948) and the other resulted in another win for FC Barcelona (3-1, season 1948-1949). 

Objective: Become winter champions

Barça and Gimnastic Tarragona come face to face this evening in the second consecutive Catalan derby for FC Barcelona. Rikjaards men will be looking to reach the half way point of the season with their first league win in 2007 and in doing so claiming the symbolic title of winter champions.

It has been exactly a month since Barça played a league match at the Camp Nou. Tonight v Gimnastic de Tarragona (19:00h, Barça TV) they will be looking to get back to winning ways after three consecutive league encounters without a victory (in games against Atlético Madrid, Getafe and Espanyol). A victory tonight would also allow them the claim the title of 'winter champions'.

Tonight's rival, the leagues bottom team, on paper seem to be the ideal opposition for Barça to make a wining debut in the Camp Nou in 2007 and in doing so close in on the league's top spot. Barça nonetheless must not underestimate the opposition and will have to demonstrate their theoretic superiority in the field of play.

The return of Deco and Thuram: After being passed fit, both the Portuguese international and the Frenchman have been included in the squad for tonight's game against Gimnastic. Both have been absent since the game against Atlético Madrid and will play for the first time this year. The return of Deco means that Rikjaard will have to choose between Deco, Iniesta or Xavi in midfield, although it would not be too surprising if all three started against a rival that will play defensively from the outset. In which case Edmilson and Motta would be the ones to miss out.

Tight Defence: The Gimnastic game plan at the Camp Nou will be a case of defence first. With a line of four at the back and five in midfield - with a destructive 'triple pivot' included, they will be hoping above all not to concede. The counterattack, with Portillo up front, will be their key weapon. Facing this scenario the most talented Barça players such as Ronaldinho, Deco or Iniesta, will have to prise open the defence as soon as possible. If Barça can make an early breakthrough then the visitors will have to come out of their shell allowing Barça more space to kill off the game.

The worst team: Maybe not on the field but statistically yes. Gimnastic have only managed nine points in 18 league games in which they have only been victorious on two occasions. Away from home they have only won once, coincidentally against the other Catalan team Espanyol. Tarragona have also the worst defensive record away from home having conceded a total of 18 goals.

Top of page

Back to top

Related content

  • At.Madrid1-0Osasuna
  • Villarreal CF0-0Sevilla CF
  • Real Betis1-1Racing
  • Deportivo0-0RCD Espanyol
  • Getafe CF1-0Celta
  • Levante UD0-0Ath.Bilbao
  • R.Sociedad0-1Valencia CF
  • Zaragoza0-0Recreativo
  • FC Barcelona3-0Gimnàstic
  • RCD Mallorca0-1Real Madrid

Back to top
Top of page