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MIAMI GARDENS, Florida — Lionel Messi and Ivan Rakitić scored in the opening minutes and Gerard Piqué scored the game-winner early in the second half as FC Barcelona beat Real Madrid, 3–2, at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, Florida.
Barça’s two-goal lead before the game was even 10 minutes old evaporated, however, as Real Madrid drew level before halftime, thus setting the stage for Piqué, who was named Man of the Match.
The victory is the third in as many tries this preseason for Barça and new manager Ernesto Valverde, and clinched the title in the 2017 International Champions Cup.
Barça took a 1–0 lead in the third minute, when Messi found himself all alone in front and fired, having his shot deflected by a Real Madrid defender up and over goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Just four minutes later, in the seventh, Rakitić doubled Barça’s lead after Neymar rolled a pass through to Luis Suárez, who let it go by, allowing Rakitic to bury a low screamer past Navas and into the bottom left corner.
Mateo Kovačić pulled one back for the Madrileños just before the quarter hour mark on a shot that closely mirrored Rakitić’s. Then, in the 36th, Marco Asensio scored to draw Real Madrid level after an odd man rush caught the Barça defense off guard, giving Asensio eons of time to beat Cillessen from just beyond the six-yard box.
Before Madrid tied it up, though, Messi, Neymar, and Suárez all had chances to reestablish Barça’s two-goal cushion but they were unable to capitalize.
But just five minutes into the second half, Barça regained the lead, 3–2, when Piqué was left unmarked in front and volleyed a Neymar free kick past Navas and into the back of the net.
In the 55th, Neymar had a one-on-one chance but was late pulling the trigger and forced a shot wide of the net. Messi and Suárez were subbed out in the 63rd, leaving Neymar as the lone member of the much-feared trident still in the game.
Both coaches subbed out the most of their players in the second half as Barça hung on for the historic win.