In the first game that new coach Gerardo Martino sat on the bench, the Barca players showed up an exceptional strength, beating Santos with 8 goals to nil, thereby grasped the tradition Joan Gamper Trophy title.
* Goals: Messi (8’), Léo (own goal, 11’), Sanchez (22’), Pedro (30’), Fabregas (53’, 68’), Adriano (75’), Dongou (83’)
Joan Gamper Trophy is the tournament held every year to start the new season at Barca. Such iconic meaning seems very true to the situation of the current Blaugrana with a victory over Santos this morning. This was the first game Barca got the services of important players after the holidays and the first time that Coach Martino official directed the game. “Tata” made fans remember the glorious day under reign of Guardiola when helping Barca show the charming attack game play on the soccer field. Fans could see positive signs after a turbulent summer in Catalan.
|Messi scored the opener in the Barca deep win|
Argentine tactician showed his strongest team with the return of series of important players such as Xavi, Iniesta, Busquets, Pique, etc, who made the soul of tiki-taka. Barca attacks clearly demonstrated beautiful ball phases. The home players just danced around Santos goal and made it look so easy. Most of the goals were Barca characterized with the perfect finish for the coordinated small group at high speed
The visitors brought to Spain the best force but before a brilliant Barca, Santos was totally intimidated. Statistics showed that the Blaugrana controlled the ball 70% of the time and had 21 shots to the side of Santos. 7 of them were converted into goals and the other was from the own goal situation by defenders in white shirt. The visitors also had some dangerous chances on Barca goal but still not sharp enough to get an honor score.
All the fans expected to see Messi and Neymar playing up front together for the first time and they were finally satisfied. At the beginning of the second half, Pedro was replaced by Neymar who had 15 minutes alongside with Messi but without leaving any noticeable combination. Coach Martino probably needed more time to eat the ideas for this duo. However, he should also take the praise for Neymar when he showed good integration into the overall team play. The Brazilian striker often had tricky dribbles on the left wing and he himself had a clear pass to Fabregas to score the 5th goal of the match.
Messi opened the scoring rain for Barcelona right after 8 minutes. From Pedro’s effort to intrude the penalty area, he latched onto Pedro’s miskick, danced round Aranha and passed the ball into the empty net. Three minutes later, Barcelona extended their lead thanks to the own goal of defender in white shirt. Derived from Alves’s bombarding down the right wing, the ball hit the defender Leo’s feet and flew straight into the net.
|Neymar and Fabregas celebrated a goal after good combination in the 2nd half|
After 22 minutes, Messi once again had the ball in the penalty area of Santos but the Argentine striker supported his teammate when passing the ball to Alexis Sanchez who was in the empty position. Number 9 of Barca did not miss the chance to easily beat Santos goalkeeper and increased the lead to 3 goals to nil for Barca. The 4th goal came after a skillful combination attack characterized by tiki-taka. Santos defense just stood looking at Barca players comfortably pass the ball in the penalty area. From an intelligent pass of Sanchez, Alba bombarded down the left wing then passed the ball to Pedro who coolly flipped the ball into the net.
In early second half, Coach Martino had an adjustment in personnel when launching 8 players on the field, just keeping Messi, Sanchez and Mascherano.
After 53 minutes, Fabregas easily defeat Arnaha and made it five after a face to face situation in front of Santos goal. 15 minutes later, the midfielder wearing No. 4 completed his own brace after a precise shot from architect Neymar.
Adriano and young striker Dongou in turn scored goals in the last minutes to bring Barca a deep win 8 goals to nil. The Catalan team won the 36th Joan Gamper Trophy.
In the coming weeks, Coach Martino’s men would visit Thailand and Malaysia in the Asian tour before entering the new season in La Liga.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Sanchez
Santos (4-4-2): Arnaha; Rafael Galhardo, Edu Dracena, Durval, Léo; Leandrinho, Cícero, Arouca, Montillo; Neílton, Thiago Ribeiro.