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Cartoon of the Day
August 18, 2014
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Alfonso Alvarez Izquierdo
• Attendance: 72475
L. Messi 3'
Neymar 12', 44'
Munir El Haddadi 55', 78'
Sandro Ramírez 89'
Thanks for joining me today. I hope you have enjoyed the action. Farewell until next time.
The referee blows the full-time whistle, putting miserable Leon out of their misery as Barcelona claim a 6-0 win. Of course, the main talking point will likely be the introduction of Suarez as the Uruguayan enjoyed a 15-minute cameo at the end, but the Barcelona youngsters have no doubt given Luis Enrique a bit of a selection headache. Munir netted twice in an impressive performance, while the likes of Sandro, Samper and Rafinha also produced good displays. Barca win the Joan Gamper Trophy and they go into the new season full of encouragement and confidence.
90' + 1'
GOAL!!! And there is number six! Samper slips a delightful pass into the edge of the area and Sandro, who got the assist for Munir's second, bursts between a couple of defenders and hits a shot through the goalkeeper.
Assist Sergi Roberto
Goal Sandro Ramírez
Suarez has received a few kicks since coming on and he gets another now as Bravo comes in hard on him from behind. He is up and running again soon enough, though.
Leon's latest corner is an improvement on their previous attempts as the ball beats the first man and causes problems in the area, but Barcelona do eventually hook it away.
No, is the short answer to that question. History repeats itself as the corner struggles to even beat the first man. They've had a few set-piece today, but they have wasted every single one.
Leon look to make ground down the right flank and, despite not threatening a great deal, they manage to win themselves a corner. Can they do better than they did from set-pieces in the first half?
As mentioned earlier, Barcelona won this trophy last season with an 8-0 win over Santos. Can they produce a late show to equal that?
Pique is the latest to showcase clever footwork and he gets himself into the Leon half, but he is ultimately fouled by Martinez.
Assist Sandro Ramírez
Goal Munir El Haddadi
GOAL!!! BARCELONA MAKE IT FIVE! Sandro does brilliantly to take possession just inside the Leon half and then charge towards the opposition's area. He produces a clever turn to cut back on himself and then squares to Munir, who slots home confidently.
Here is comes. Luis Suarez, fresh from his close-season arrival and World Cup naughtiness, makes his Barcelona debut. He replaces Rafinha, while Alba is replaced by Grimaldo.
Leon are stroking the ball around just outside their own area, but the Barcelona youngsters are constantly harrying and pressing them.
There is a sudden rise in noise at the Camp Nou as Suarez, who has been warming up for most of the second half, appears in his full kit just in front of the Barcelona dugout. His introduction is just a few moments away.
Samper has looked very lively in the few minutes he has been on. The 18-year-old produces a brilliant piece of skill to skip around the Leon full-back and he then chips a clever pass into the centre.
Barca have a host of youngsters on now and two of them almost combine to maximum effect. Samper glides past a couple of challenges and then slips a glorious pass into the area for Munir. The forward gets to it and is forced out wide a little, but he still gets a shot away. The goalkeeper makes the save, though.
In the meantime, Leon are making another batch of changes. I shall confirm the details of the subs in due course.
Well, there is a half chance at least. Barcelona knock the ball into the danger area and, although it is partially cleared, Xavi latches on to it and smashes just wide of the left-hand post.
Unsurprisingly, the flurry of changes has impacted on the flow of the match. ALthough Barcelona are, of course, seeing more of the ball, they aren't doing much with it, rather knocking it about in harmless areas.
Munir finds himself in a great position again as the 19-year-old is released through the middle. He shoots wide of the target, but his blushes are somewhat spared by the offside flag.
Meanwhile, Bravo, Rakitic, Messi, Mathieu, Alves, Busquets and Iniesta have left the pitch.
Barcelona, meanwhile, make seven changes. On come Masip, Xavi, Bartra, Samper, Montoya, Sandro and Sergi Roberto.
Here comes a whole host of changes. Leon make two as Bravo and Sabah enter the fray, while Cardenas and Pena leave.
Now, that is a speculative effort from Raktic. The Croatian pounces on a loose ball just inside his own half and, after spotting Yarbrough off his line, he tries his luck. The ball flies harmlessly wide, though.
Barcelona almost create a fifth goal as Messi flies through the middle and pokes a pass into the area for Munir, but the youngster can't quite reach it, as Yarbrough smothers the ball.
Assist Daniel Alves
Goal Munir El Haddadi
GOAL!!! MUNIR ANNOUNCES HIMSELF! That is a classic Barcelona goal as Rakitic lofts a brilliant pass towards the back post and, following Alves' first-time squared pass, Munir knocks in from point-blank range.
The second half has been very quiet so far, both in terms of the action on the pitch and the atmosphere in the stands. Barcelona are enjoying more of the ball, as one would expect, but they aren't doing much with it.
Here is Leon's first change. Rafa Marquez gets a standing ovation at his former stomping ground and he is replaced by Derley. The former Mexico captain is off to join up with new club Verona after this.
Munir gets his first feel of the ball since coming on as he drifts into a central position and picks up possession following a pass from Iniesta. He is soon crowded out, though.
Leon work the ball well out of defence and a counterattack appears to be on the cards as Vazquez lifts a pass over to the right for Pena. Mathieu covers well, though, clearing the danger with ease.
Barca have made a couple of changes as Pique comes on Mascharano, while exciting teenager Munir takes the place of Neymar.
Munir El Haddadi
We're back on for the second half.
They may not have Suarez on the field yet, but it has been all too easy for Barcelona. They have dominated possession and goal-scoring chances, with Leon looking grateful for the half-time whistle. Neymar and Messi have been masterful, while the supporting cast of Iniesta and Rakitic haven't been bad either. Expect plenty of changes from both sides in the second half, with Suarez likely to make an appearance eventually.
GOAL!!! NEYMAR STRIKES AGAIN! The Brazil superstar latches on to Messi's chipped pass, despite Marquez's best efforts. He brights the ball down, gets past the goalkeeper thanks to a ricochet and then confidently backheels the ball into the goal.
Audacious effort from Rivera as he tries his luck from about 30 yards and with an unkind angle. Unsurprisingly, the Colombian's effort flies well over.
Dani Alves finds himself in a central area now, right on the edge of the Leon penalty area. He tries to poke a pass into the box for Neymar, but he is crowded out by defenders.
Clever feet from Neymar as he jinks past one challenge in the area and gets a shot away, but Yarbrough charges out to meet it and the keeper makes a successful block.
Good work by Elias down the left as he skips away from Alves, holds off another challenge and squeezes a cross into the area. His delivery is deflected and Leon look set to win a corner, but Boselli pushes over Mathieu and a free-kick is given.
Barca win themselves a free-kick about 30 yards from goal and Messi lines it up, but he curls the ball comfortably over Yarbrough's goal.
Extraordinary football from Barcelona down the left. Alba charges are Cardenas and plays not one, but a pair of give-and-goes. He gets into the area and, although his cut-back doesn't reach Messi, Neymar meets it and sees his effort deflected away from target. Marquez then clears.
Chance for Barca as Messi slips Rafinha into the area and the Brazilian's eyes light up at the sight of the goal, but Gonzalez tracked his run brilliantly and made the block.
Marquez gets himself in the right place at the right time. Messi and Neymar combine on the edge of the visitors' area and the Argentine looks set to get in on goal, but Marquez blocks the return-pass crucially.
Just like last time, though, the corner comes to nothing as the ball is effectively nodded away by the first man. That's quite a waste.
The hosts do appear to have taken their foot off the accelerator in the last few moments as Leon start to enjoy a little more time on the ball. The Mexicans win themselves another corner as Bravo is forced to block Elias Hernandez's close-range effort.
Another Barcelona chance is almost crafted as Iniesta gets between the lines, but Messi then tries to feed Neymar in down the left and his pass is intercepted by Cardenas.
Leon have seemingly come to life in the last few minutes. Rivera does brilliantly as he picks up possession in withdrawn position, but he charges through a couple of challenges and then fires just wide.
Messi has enjoyed a lively first half so far and he is invovled again. He appears on the right flank and cuts inside, with Leon unable to steal possession from him. The Argentine star lets fly from distance, but it cannons off Iniesta and out for a goal-kick.
Leon finally break out of their own half and get their first chance of the match, but Bravo is ultimately equal to Vazquez's long-range effort, parrying it around the post. The subsequent corner is also comfortably dealt with by Barca.
Mathieu has had nothing to do at the back so far, so it's not too much of a surprise to see him roam forward in an attempt to curb his boredom. He plays a one-two with Neymar and looks set to receive the ball back in a dangerous position, but he can't quite reach the pass.
Another fantastic move from Barcelona as Messi explodes into life in a deep position, plays a one-two and then feeds Rafinha into the right side of the area. The youngster is flagged offside, though, much to the disappointment of the home support.
This may only be a pre-season friendly, but Barca are doing everything they can to turn on the style. In the midfield they look imperious on and off the ball, while Rafinha, Messi and Neymar have been very dangerous. Not that you'd expect any less from them.
GOAL!!! BARCA DOUBLE THE DEFICIT! They do so in some style as well. Iniesta threads an exquisite pass between a couple of defenders and Neymar, who appears in the left side of the area, coolly chips the ball over Yarbrough. Excellent goal.
Rakitic goes fairly close again! Barca worked the corner short and, eventually, the ball is teed up nicely for Rakitic on the edge of the area, but Yarbrough palms it away.
Messi pops up on the right flank on this occasion. He runs at Edwin, but the Leon man reads his movements well and concedes a corner. The Mexicans are struggling to get out of their own half here.
Typically dogged play in midfield from Rakitic as he effectively receives a piggy-back ride from Edwin Hernandez. The referee unsurprisingly gives Leon a free-kick.
Barcelona have the ball in the net for the second time, but it won't be allowed to stand. Magallon was caught in possession as he slipped just outside his own area and Rafinha's subsequent cross found its way through to Messi, who slotted home. His first touch was with his left hand, though.
RAKITIC ALMOST ADDS A SECOND! The Croatian, who arrived during the close-season following an inspirational season at Sevilla, is given way too much space about 30 yards from goal. He tries his luck, but his rasping drive goes agonisingly wide of the left-hand post.
It's worth noting that Barcelona won this trophy last season thanks to an incredible 8-0 triumph over Santos. Luis Enrique's men have gotten off to an excellent start yet again.
GOAL!!! BARCELONA ARE OFF TO A FLYER! Lovely move from the hosts, but it all started in the middle as Rakitic produced an excellent interception. He quickly offloaded to Messi, who in turn fed Neymar down the left. The Brazilian's pass into the area is deflected, but Messi anticipates well and nods past the goalkeeper.
Encouraging start from the hosts. Nermar drops deep and bursts into life, jinking past a couple of challenges in the middle, before slipping a pass to Alves on the right. The wing-back crosses back in towards his compatriot, but Marquez blocks the attacker off.
And we're off! Barcelona get the action started at Camp Nou.
The two teams are now out on the pitch as kick-off approaches.
As you can see, former Barca favourite and Mexico World Cup star Rafa Marquez starts for the Liga MX side today. The 35-year-old is set to join Italian club Hellas Verona in due course, but he has been given permission by his new employers to face his former team today. He received a mighty welcome from the Barcelona fans.
Club Leon starting XI: Yarbrough, Rafa Marquez, Gonzalez, Magallon, Cardenas, Elias Hernandez, Edwin Hernandez, Vazquez, Pena, Rivera, Boselli.
The Barcelona starting XI today is: Bravo; Alves, Mascherano, Mathieu, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Neymar, Rafinha, Messi.
The home fans will have to wait to see their new man in action, though. Suarez starts on the bench today, having only been allowed to start training again on Thursday. The Uruguay star was, of course, given a four-month ban from all football-related activity after biting Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup, but following the ruling of the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Suarez was given permission to play in uncompetitive fixtures.
The Barcelona players were all individually introduced to the home support and, as you'd expect, Suarez was given a rather warm reception. The Uruguayan's name was then chanted by the Barca fans.
The Camp Nou is packed today as Barcelona prepare for their first pre-season friendly at home, while it is their final warm-up ahead of the new La Liga season. Undoubtedly Suarez is one of the biggest reasons for such a good crowd.
Hello and welcome to the LIVE text commentary of the pre-season Joan Gamper Trophy clash between Barcelona and Leon at Camp Nou. My name is Ryan Benson and I shall be describing the action for you today, as we prepare to see Luis Suarez playing his first match in a Barcelona shirt.
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