Argentinos Abroad: Messi on target as Barcelona thrash Chapecoense for Joan Gamper trophy (VIDEO)


All may not be in order at Barcelona but in the first game of the post-Neymar era, Ernesto Valverde’s side made light work of Brazilian club Chapecoense, romping to a 5-0 victory to win the annual Joan Gamper Trophy at the Camp Nou.

Paying tribute to the Brazilian club after the plane tragedy that killed 71 last year, survivors Jackson Follmann and Helio Neto got the game off to an emotional start but Barcelona wasted little time in stamping their authority on the match.

Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez had already forced saves from goalkeeper Elias before the impressive Gerard Deulofeu tapped in a simple opener in the sixth minute.

Sergio Busquets doubled the lead with a wonderful long range strike before Messi exchanged passes with Deulofeu and scored the third. The goal was Messi’s eighth in the Joan Gamper Trophy, overtaking the record Juan Asensi, Txiki Begiristain and Hristo Stoichkov, who had all scored seven.

The snappy short passes between Messi, Suárez and Deulofeu were cutting open the Chapecoense defence with ease and the Brazilians were perhaps fortunate to only be trailing by three at the break.

Messi released Suárez for Barça’s fourth before the Argentina captain turned provider again for Denis Suárez to slip in number five.

Barcelona are almost certain still to do some major business in the transfer window but face Real Madrid on Sunday in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup.

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