Goals from Messi and Neymar were not enough to overcome Pasris Saint-Germain last night in Paris, when the two clubs clashed in the group stage of Chanmpions League.
PSG were the first to score in an intense first half thanks to David Luiz in the ninth minute, but immediately Leo Messi equalised. With high possession for Barcelona, and the squad playing well it looked like it could go well for the Catalans. Unfortunately in a moment of confusion at the back a cross by former Barça player Motta was picked up by Verratti and the French side went back into the lead.
Following the break the pressure continued, but it was PSG who scored a third goal to leave Barcelona trailing 3-1. That gap was shortlived though and Neymar scored Barça’s second of the night. On came Munir, Sandro and Xavi, but although there were some good chances the match ended 3-2.
The result leaves Paris Saint-Germain on top with 4 points, Barcelona with 3, Ajax on 2 and APOEL with 1.
1-0 David Luiz (min 9)
1-1 Messi (min 10)
2-1 Verratti (min 25)
3-1 Matuidi (min 53)
3-2 Neymar (min 55)
After a disappointing midweek match against Malaga, FC Barcelona bounced back with the annihilation of Granada at a packed Nou Camp on Saturday.
Ahead of the match Luis Enrique had warned that Granada can be dangerous, but with the team heavy on defence Barcelona had all the opportunities, although were unable to break through the impenetrable wall initially. The deadlock was broken at 25 minutes though. Neymar shot at the goal, which deflected off a defender’s leg and over the head of the keeper. Minutes before the break Messi set up Rakitic to put Barça two goals up, followed soon after by another from Neymar to end the first half 3-0.
It took another quarter hour of teh second half for Barcelona to score again, this time a Messi goal assisted by Xavi and Alves. Neymar scored his hat-trick a few minutes after to make it 5-0 from a Messi assist; and the Argentine scored the sixth goal of the match when he took the ball from the Granada defence and took the ball forward before putting in the back of the visitors’ goal.
1-0 Neymar (min 25)
2-0 Rakitic (min 42)
3-0 Neymar (min 44)
4-0 Messi (min 61)
5-0 Neymar (min 65)
6-0 Messi (min 81)
While Barcelona dominated possession against Malaga last night, they failed to create much in the way of opportunities and ended the match with a goalless draw.
While the hosts made an early attempt at the Barça goal, it wasn’t untill close to the quarter hour mark that the Catalans had their first real opportunity of the evening with a Messi free kick, soon followed up by a couple of near misses by Pedro. Messi made another attack after 30 minutes, only to see it blocked, and at the close of the first half a Jordi Alba looked like a certain Messi goal, only for him to fail to get to the ball.
After the break the stalemate continued and so after 15 minutes of play on came Munir and Sandro, bringing off Pedro and Neymar and shortly after Adriano in place of Douglas, but to no usefull effect, while Malaga had a good couple of attempts at scoring. As the minutes ticked down Pique tried, as did Bartra, but when the final whistle blew neither side had scored.
Sunday saw FC Barcelona travel down to Valencia where they beat Levante in a tremendous match with plenty of goals for the Catalans.
Early on the home side looked as if they might score for themselves, but just after the half hour mark Neymar broke the deadlock to put Barça ahead. But after Messi was brought down in the box he uncharacteristically shot wide from the penalty spot, losing the chance to open the gap. However, Rakitic did that towards the end of the first half, leaving Barcelona with the clear advantage going into the break.
Back on for the second half, Neymar went down to cause a moment of panic on the Barcelona bench. Although he appeared to be uninjured, Sandro Ramírez was brought on in his place and soon made his mark felt when he scored off a Messi assist. With three goals it might have been the end of the night, but Pedro scored one more minutes later and, finally, Leo Messi scored goal number five a quarter hour from the end to leave Barça with a one hundred percent record this season.
0-1 Neymar (min 33)
0-2 Rakitic (min 43)
0-3 Sandro Ramírez (min 56)
0-4 Pedro (min 63)
0-5 Messi (min 76)
FC Barcelona continued their current winning streak last night in a match in which they dominated possession for a narrow 1-0 win against APOEL Nicosia at the Nou Camp.
Luis Enrique selected 7 players to make their first start this season and in the first half the Cypriot team started with some quick passes and ball control. The header in the 8th minute by Tomas De Vincenti was off the goal. Barcelona eventually scored a goal when Lionel Messi’s free kick was headed home by Gerard Pique in the 27th minute.
A mostly uneventful second half with De Vincenti, again, in the 58th minute, attempted a header but the Barcelona goalie blocked it. A goal was disallowed by Munir for being offside, but the 63,000 fans at the Nou Camp went home happy all the same.
1-0 Gerard Pique (min 27)
FC Barcelona played an exciting game against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday, winning the match thanks to 2 late goals from Neymar to win their third game of the season. Unusually the team played in the red and yellow stripes of the Catalan flag rather than the normal blaugrana kit, commemorating the three-hundredth anniversary of Barcelona falling to Spain on 11th September.
Both teams started off strongly but while Munir, Messi, and Pedro went on the attack for Barça, the visitors were keen to do the same. Despite a number of chances for Barça though the first half ended as the game had started, with neither team able to score.
Back on after the break Munir was soon replaced by Neymar, who proved to be decisive. Despite both he and Messi narrowly missing, finally in the 78th minute Messi set up Neymar for the first goal of the match. Five minutes later the same combination put Barcelona on 2 goals and seal wi victory for the Catalans.
1-0 Neymar (min 78)
2-0 Neymar (min 83)
Sunday saw FC Barcelona travel down to the Community of Valencia to face Villarreal at the Madrigal stadium for their second league match of the season.
With Iniesta out of action, Messi wore the captain’s armband and right from the start went on the offensive. However, the Villarreal defence remained tight and prevented the Catalans from scoring, with the home side coming close to going ahead themselves at the 25 minute mark. However, the first half ended the way it had started.
Back on after the break and Luis Enrique gave Neymar his opportunity in response to the hosts upping their attack on the Barça goal. However, it was only when Barça B player Sandro Ramírez came on that the Catalans were able to score at the 81st minute to give Barcelona a narrow victory to earn three points.
0-1 Sandro Ramírez (min 81)
Messi and Munir helped FC Barcelona to their first win of the new season after facing Elche at the Nou Camp last night. The match was also the first league match for the club under Luis Enrique.
With high possession throughout, Barcelona controlled the game but despite some good efforts by Munir and Iniesta, it was not until the last five minutes of the first half that Lionel Messi finally opened the scoring. Immediately after the visitors created their own opportunity and although Mascherano stopped the attack, he earned himself a red card for doing so.
Back on after the break with one man down, Barcelona continued the pressure, which was quickly rewarded with a goal by new boy Munir; as a product of La Masia he cost the club nothing in transfer fees and is able to play. And after another quarter of an hour and the match was sealed, with another superb effort by Messi.
While Elche is hardly the toughest team Barcelona will play they at least started off the new season showing how they can play.
1-0 Messi (min 41)
2-0 Munir (min 46)
3-0 Messi (min 63)
Messi opened the scoring for FC Barcelona last night when the Catalans played their first home match under Luis Enrique and the new look Barça was officially introduced.
With many locals away on holiday, the stadium was rather empty and many in the crowd tourists. However, that didn’t stop Barça from putting in a show for everyone who attended. As well as the Messi opener, Neymar scored two and Munir, up from Barça B scored two more. The final goal of the match was scored by Sandro Ramírez just a couple of minutes from the end,
The match also marked the debut of Luis Suarez, controversially signed after biting a player during the World Cup in Brazil. While he can play in friendly matches, his suspension will see him out of action for the start of the season. He had better do more than he did last night to justify the amount spent on him though.
1-0 Messi (min 2)
2-0 Neymar (min 11)
3-0 Neymar (min 43)
4-0 Munir (min 53)
5-0 Munir (min 76)
6-0 Sandro Ramírez (min 88)
After playing Napoli in Geneva last Wednessday, when they lost by a single goal, FC Barcelona headed for Finland on Saturday to face Helsinki in their last summer friendly before heading back home to play Club Leon in the Gamper Trophy.
This match could not have been more different, with Barça scoring three times within the first quarter hour, and made it four before the break.
Back on for the second half Barcelona kept up the pressure and scored two more to end the match 6-0.
0-1 Munir (min 4)
0-2 Sergi Roberto (min 8)
0-3 Munir (min 16)
0-4 Piqué (min 23)
0-5 Bartr (min 48)
0-6 Sandro Ramírez (min 81)