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With less than a week to go till the start of the league season, Barça put on an encouraging show for the Camp Nou this evening, putting six past Club Leon to take the forty ninth edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy. Goals from Messi, Neymar (2), Munir (2) and Sandro gave the side their second 6-0 win of the pre-season and to add to the upbeat atmosphere, Luis Suárez made his debut, coming on for the final quarter of an hour.
Strong starting line up
With only Ter Stegen and Vermaelen unavailable, Luis Enrique sent out a strong starting XI, with Alves and Jordi Alba outside Mascherano and Mathieu at the heart of the defence and a front three of Messi, Rafinho and Neymar Jr, ahead of Rakitic, Busquets and Iniesta.
The new boss couldn’t have had a better start on his return to the Camp Nou, when the team went one up after just three minutes. Messi set Neymar free on the left and his return cross was headed in at the front post by the Argentinean steaming into the box. The front three looked electric and it was no surprise that the team went in three up at the break – Neymar scoring with two clever finishes after being put through by Iniesta and then Messi, who was unlucky to be denied when the ball popped up and hit his hand as he was about to claim his second. Bravo made two excellent stops and Mathieu showed good pace and a commandeering presence at the back, whilst Ratikic impressed as he probed from the middle and got forward to link with the front men.
Munir gets a brace
Luis Enrique chose to replace Neymar and Mascherano after the break with Piqué and Munir, who was soon on the scoresheet after Rakitic had sent a raking cross field ball out to Alves, who centered for the youngster to bustle home.
Just before that goal, Marquez was given a great send off by the Camp Nou faithful when he was substituted on the hour mark. That change marked the start of a series of substitutions, with Luis Enrique making seven changes at one go and leaving just two of the starting XI on the pitch - Alba and Rafinha. The fans were stil waiting for the appearance of Luis Suárez, but before he replaced Rafinha with a quarter of an hour to go, Munir had doubled his tally after good work on the left by Sandro, who got his own rewards when late on he tucked away the sixth after a lovely through pass from Samper to round off an entertaining, and promising night at the Camp Nou.
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