9th August, 2021
Barcelona, without Lionel Messi have kicked off their 2021/22 campaign in style by comfortably defeating Ronaldo-led Juventus 3-0.
Both teams met in their annual Joan Gamper Trophy match.
The match took place at the Estadi Johan Cruyff in front of 3,000 fans, and was the club’s first outing since the departure of Lionel Messi.
The night started with chants of Messi’s name, and whistles for some of the current squad, but fans were quickly given something to cheer about.
According to the match report by Marca, Barcelona got off to the perfect start on three minutes as Memphis Depay scored with a powerful shot past Wojciech Szczesny after a cross from Yusuf Demir.
It was Depay’s fourth goals in pre-season for his new club,
Barcelona came out with intent and there was some good linking play between the front three of Demir, Antoine Griezmann and Depay.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side did threaten at points, however, as Cristiano Ronaldo tested Neto in goals on 15 minutes and again just before half time from a freekick.
Mattia De Sciglio, Mattijs de Ligt and Alavaro Morata also had attempts on goal, but the Brazilian stood firm.
Barcelona extended their lead in the second half despite being slightly under the cosh as Martin Braithwaite finished from a Depay cross on 57 minutes.
Ronald Koeman rang the changes in the second period, bringing on Emerson Royal for his debut, as well as Samuel Umtiti, who was given a hostile reception.
Barcelona wrapped up the win with a fine left-footed strike from Riqui Puig in the 92th minute.
Griezmann was applauded as he left the field with five minutes remaining, and could be an important player for the azulgrana if he is to stay as he’s already linking up well with Depay going forward.
The post-Messi era has started well.