Barcelona turned in a classy performance as they rounded off their pre-season programme with a dominant 3-0 victory over Roma in the 50th Trofeo Joan Gamper.
The Catalan giants controlled the fixture from start to finish, dancing through the Roma defence with ease time and again.
Neymar broke the deadlock following a period of sustained Barca pressure, rounding Wojciech Szczesny to leave himself with a simple tap-in.
Lionel Messi could, and possibly should, have seen red when he went head-to-head with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, but he responded by doubling the home side’s advantage four minutes from the break.
Ivan Rakitic made it 3-0 shortly after the hour-mark and that would be the end of the scoring, despite Barca looking likely to add a fourth.
Messi wore the captain’s armband in the absence of newly appointed skipper Andres Iniesta – named among the substitutes – and the Argentine flyer was involved from the off as Barca made a blistering start.
The 28-year-old poked an effort straight to Szczesny before Neymar shouldered wide – a Dani Alves cross from the right deflected out of the Brazilian’s path, preventing what looked set to be a certain headed goal.
Alves and Messi then combined brilliantly down the right and the latter drew an excellent save from Szczesny, while Neymar’s shot from the rebound was blocked by some desperate Roma defending.
Radja Nainggolan pulled a half-chance wide from 25 yards at the other end, but the onslaught continued and the visitors had Szczesny to thank once again in the 16th minute, when the Poland international kept out a fierce Rakitic strike after more neat build-up play.
Szczesny saw Rafinha blaze over from close range soon after, but he was finally beaten in the 26th minute – Neymar applying a cool finish after Jeremy Mathieu had sent a first-time pass into his path from a delightful Messi ball over the top.
Messi could arguably count himself lucky to be on the pitch after appearing to drive his head into that of Yanga-Mbiwa and, after escaping with a yellow card, he doubled Barca’s advantage with a driven effort from the edge of the box in the 41st minute.
To Roma’s relief, Barca took their foot off the gas somewhat at the beginning of the second half and a flurry of substitutions disrupted the flow of a match that had been played at a rapid pace.
However, it was not long before the home side clicked back into gear – Rakitic rifling an effort into the top left-hand corner of the net from 25 yards.
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