Saturday, August 3, 2013

Barcelona 8-0 Santos: Blaugrana savage Brazilians in eight-goal rout

Tata Martino's side produced a sublime attacking display to claim the Joan Gamper Trophy for the 36th time

Barcelona won the 48th edition of the Joan Gamper Trophy in style, thumping Santos 8-0 at Camp Nou.

Strikes from Lionel Messi, a Leo own goal, Alexis Sanchez and Pedro put Barcelona firmly in control at the halfway mark before second half goals from Fabregas (2), Adriano and Jean-Marie Dongou gave the Catalan side the biggest winning margin in the

tournament's history.

Gerardo Martino was able to welcome back Barcelona's Confederations Cup stars and he named a strong starting XI. Summer signing and former Santos icon Neymar started on the bench, as did Manchester United target Cesc Fabregas.

Barcelona dominated from the first whistle and it only took nine minutes for Messi to get his name on the score sheet when he pounced on a mis-kick from Pedro, before rounding Aranha and stabbing the ball into the empty net.

Claudinei Oliveira's side was struggling to contain the runs of fullbacks Jordi Alba and Dani Alves, and it was the Brazilian who turned provider for the second just two minutes later, as his inviting cross was deflected into his own net by 38-year-old defender Leo.

Sanchez has enjoyed a fine preseason so far and he made it three on 22 minutes when he latched onto Messi's precise through ball before casually rolling the ball past Aranha's outstretched arm and into the
into the bottom right-hand corner. 

Barcelona was at its tiki-taka finest and by the half hour mark it was out of sight as Pedro reacted quickest to poke Alba's drilled low cross into the net from a few yards out.

Santos rarely threatened and their only shot of the first half came from right back Rafael Galardo, with his ambitious long-range effort flying high over the crossbar and greeted with ironic cheers from the home crowd.

Barcelona made eight changes at halftime but that did little to disrupt its free-flowing attack and Fabregas made it five on 53 minutes by smashing Sanchez's neatly-threaded pass beyond substitute goalkeeper Vladimir.

The former-Arsenal man then claimed a second on 68 minutes. He was picked out on the edge of the box wonderfully by Neymar before coolly finishing into the top left-hand corner. There was to be no home debut goal for the Brazilian but the Blaugrana faithful were nonetheless delighted with the performance of their new signing.

Fabregas was denied a hat trick when his curling free kick struck the inside of the post before Adriano scored the pick of the goals with a sublime effort into the top corner from outside the area.

With seven minutes remaining, 18-year-old Cameroonian striker Jean Marie Dongou ensured it was an unforgettable debut for Martino as he converted Fabregas' precise low cross to make it eight.