Friday, October 20, 2017

Barcelona 5 Chapecoense 0: Messi and Suarez hit their stride without Neymar

SoccerNews in La Liga 7 Aug 2017

248 Views

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez were both on target in their first match without Neymar as Barcelona eased to a 5-0 win over Chapecoense in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

The feted ‘MSN’ forward line is no more after the Brazil superstar completed his world-record €222million move to Paris Saint-Germain last week and it was a more unheralded player filling Neymar’s spot on the left of a three-man attack who struck first.

Gerard Deulofeu re-joined Barca during the close-season after his boyhood club activated a buyback option to bring him back from Everton following a successful loan stint at AC Milan and the 23-year-old winger linked pleasingly with Messi after opening his Camp Nou account.

Chapecoense were selected as opponents for Barcelona’s traditional curtain raiser to their domestic season to commemorate the 71 people – including 19 players – who died when the Brazilian club’s plane crashed en route to the first leg of the Copa Sudamericana final against Atletico Nacional last November.

Alan Ruschel, one of three playing survivors from the crash, captained the visitors and took to the field alongside colleagues Jakson Follmann and Neto for an emotional tribute before kick-off.

Sergio Busquets found the top corner with a superb long-range effort and Messi and Luis Suarez were on target either side of half-time, while Denis Suarez came off the bench to round off a useful workout ahead of Sunday’s Supercopa de Espana first leg against Real Madrid.

Unsurprisingly, goalkeeper Elias was the busiest Chapecoense player during the first half as Barca instantly clicked into gear.

Elias denied Messi and Luis Suarez at the end of flowing moves before Deulofeu tapped home Ivan Rakitic’s low cross at the far post in the sixth minute.

Busquet’s spectacular second left the over-worked 22-year-old with no chance before Wellington Paulista dragged wide from 25 yards, having found space on a rare Chapecoense counter-attack.

A dubious offside flag prevented Messi from teeing up a third for Gerard Pique, but the mercurial Argentine was on the scoresheet with half an hour played, receiving a return pass at the second attempt from Deulofeu and lashing high into the net.

Ruschel made way to a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 36th minute, while Luis Suarez was left baffled by his failure to get on the scoresheet by the break as Elias saved with his legs and produced an astonishing right-handed reaction save.

The Uruguay star got his goal nine minutes into the second half, beating Elias at the near post with a vicious strike following a deft one-two with Messi.

Denis Suarez will hope for more first-team opportunities under new head coach Ernesto Valverde and did his prospects no harm with an unerring low finish in the 74th minute, when Messi dropped deep to impeccably play creator once more.

New signing Nelson Semedo won an 89th-minute penalty, but Paco Alcacer’s poorly struck effort was saved by replacement goalkeeper Artur Moraes.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

SHARE OR COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

WE RECOMMEND

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar
 
smilegrinwinkmrgreenneutraltwistedarrowshockunamusedcooleviloopsrazzrollcryeeklolmadsadexclamationquestionideahmmbegwhewchucklesillyenvyshutmouth
wpDiscuz
More More
Top