Barcelona have finished the 2019/20 preseason, and boy what a finale it was: the Blaugrana produced a stellar performance and a 4-0 win in the second friendly against Napoli. The crowd that went to the Big House saw a Barça team full of confidence that suffocated their opponents and scored amazing goals to finish the preparations for the new season in style and give their fans a lot of encouragement for the new season. This was seriously good.
Barça made a spectacular start to the game, suffocating Napoli with their high pressing and passing the ball really well in midfield to create chances. Griezmann missed the best opportunity of the half on a one-on-one with the keeper, but Suárez and Dembélé also had their chances to put Barça ahead.
The defensive problems from the Miami game were not evident in the first half as the high pressing killed Napoli’s attacks before they even started, and the Blaugrana defense was much more alert to stop the Napoli forwards whenever they had the ball.
Despite no goals the first half ended with a fantastic performance from the Catalans, who fully deserved the lead at halftime and were quite unlucky not to have it.
Barça’s performance deserved goals, and they came. A lot of them. Very quickly. In the first 20 minutes of the final period, Luis Suárez (first on a rebound then with a rocket to the top corner), Griezmann (with a tap-in and his first goal for the club) and Dembélé (with a rocket to the bottom corner) made it 4-0 and not only clinched the victory for Barça but gave the fans some moments of special quality and team play.
The rush of adrenaline from the spectacle quickly went away as Barça made five changes at the 65-minute mark that killed the rhythm and continuity from the first unit, but we did get to watch Arthur, Vidal and Coutinho in action for the first time in preseason. All three looked hungry and sharp, although their fitness was clearly lacking which is understandable.
Barça continued to press and create chances with the substitutes, with Abel Ruiz and Rafinha especially dangerous in the final minutes. Unfortunately no more goals were scored, but the final whistle came to end a brilliant performance from Barça in the preseason finale. If the team that played in the first 65 minutes is the same that starts next week, we are looking good for the debut in La Liga.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo (Vidal 67’), Piqué (Umtiti 67’), Lenglet, Alba; Roberto, De Jong, Aleñá (Arthur 67’); Dembélé (Ruiz 75’), Suárez (Rafinha (67’), Griezmann (Coutinho 67’)
Goals: Suárez (48’, 58’), Griezmann (56’), Dembélé (63’)
Napoli: Meret; Hysaj (Di Lorenzo 62’), Manolas, Chiriches (Luperto 45’), Ghoulam (Mário Rui 62’); Callejón, Allan (Insigne 45’), Fabián, Elmas (Zielinski 45’); Verdi (Gaetano 68’), Mertens