They came, they saw, they conquered; Barcelona rolled up at the Camp Nou today looking to start their season with a solid victory against Levante and delivered in some style. Even in his wildest dreams, Gerardo Martino wouldn't have imagined a 7-0 debut win, yet here we are, saluting quite possibly one of our best performances in recent memory. From start to finish, Barcelona were utterly dominant and not only passed the visitors off the pitch, but ran them off it too. Their work ethic was simply phenomenal and in truth, the margin of victory doesn't do Barcelona's display justice.
For as memorable as this match was, it could have been so much more -- eight goals? Nine goals? Double figures? Only an inspired performance from Keylor Navas saved Levante from a unwanted appearance in the record books.
Admittedly, Barcelona will face much greater tests this season than a home fixture against Levante. The Granotes are a small club, operating on a much smaller budget than Barcelona -- and if tonight's performance is anything to go by, they might even find themselves in a relegation battle -- but Cules will be encouraged by the signs that Barcelona were showing. Unlike previous seasons, this was a more "direct" style of play that created a great number of chances, and the finishing was rather clinical too -- as Barca's 54% chance conversion rate would suggest.
And just as Barcelona will face tougher tests, they will also grow in confidence, improve their understanding of Gerardo Martino's system and build up greater match fitness -- meaning that with any luck, today's result is merely the beginning...