FULL-TIME, Barcelona 2-1 Napoli: Fun game, really good individual performances on both sides and a generally entertaining 90 minutes. Barça’s defense suffered a lot but we can’t overreact to preseason.
90+1min: Abel Ruiz steals the ball inside the box and has a good look at goal, but his shot goes straight at Meret.
90min: CLOSE!!! Junior Firpo finds Dembélé inside the box and the Frenchman nearly scores a gain, with a right-footed shot across goal going just wide.
85min: After another great save from Neto to stop Milik, Dembélé goes on a counter-attacking run, burns two defenders but fires the shot wide.
82min: Hysaj booked for stopping Dembélé after the Frenchman dribbled past him and was through on goal. Since this is a friendly, it’s not a red card.
79min: GOAL!!! RAKITIC!!! After a nice sequence of possession Abel Ruiz has his shot blocked, and Rakitic is the quickest man to the ball and scores a really nice goal. 2-1 Barça!
77min: Yellow for Junior Firpo for a challenge on Verdi.
76min: WHAT A MISS! Another Napoli counter attack, Insigne finds Ghoulam who plays a perfect cross to Milik, but the Polish striker tried to score with his chest instead of his head and the ball went over the bar. Unbelievable.
71min: Cooling break.
70min: Yellow for Milik for hitting Umtiti in the face.
69min: NETO AGAIN!!! Milik gets the ball on the counter, cuts to his left and aims for the bottom corner, but Neto makes a fantastic save and sends it away for a corner.
68min: POST! De Jong runs with the ball and finds Dembélé on the right wing. The Frenchman cuts to his right foot and fires a rocket to the bottom corner with no chance for Meret, but the ball hits the frame of the goal.
66min: Four changes for Barça: Dembélé for Carles Pérez, De Jong for Riqui Puig, Piqué for Todibo, Semedo for Wagué.
66min: Free kick for Barça, Rakitic sends it over the bar.
59min: Milik has been on the pitch for a minute and already has a big chance, trying to beat Neto with a shot across goal that goes wide.
58min: Five changes for Napoli: Luperto for Manolas, Ghoulam for Mário Rui, Gaetano for Elmas, Verdi for Fabián Ruiz, Milik for Mertens.
55min: Bad pass from Manolas and Rafinha gets the ball, and after a few bounces the ball comes back to the Brazilian who fires it wide thanks to a deflection from Manolas. After the corner, Rakitic receives the ball at the edge of the box and fires a good shot just wide.
52min: Great pass from Busquets to find Riqui Puig in space, Puig with a through ball to Pérez, and his cross finds Abel Ruiz who forces Meret to make a wonderful double save.
50min: Quick counter from Napoli, Mertens tries to find Zielinski in space but Neto does his best Ter Stegen impression and rushes out of goal to clear it with his feet.
48min: Rakitic shoots from distance, easy save for Meret.
47min: Yellow for Wagué for a tough challenge on Mário Rui.
SECOND HALF KICKOFF! Two changes from Barça: Rafinha for Griezmann, Abel Ruiz for Suárez.
HALFTIME: Very entertaining first half, with chances for both sides and plenty of good moments from the Barça attack. Griezmann was very good, Suárez looks sharp, but the defense hasn’t been good.
41min: GOAL, Callejón. Napoli equalize. Callejón receives a cross from the left, beats Junior Firpo and scores with his left foot despite Umtiti’s best efforts to clear the ball. 1-1.
40min: Insigne receives the ball in space inside the box and Todibo makes a spectacular recovery run and blocks the shot away for a corner. Insande defending.
39min: GOAL!!! BUSQUETS!!! Junior Firpo steals the ball in midfield, finds Riqui Puig, who finds Busquets at the edge of the box, and tonight’s captain just places the ball in the bottom corner. 1-0 Barça.
38min: Nice run by Wagué and a nice left-footed shot from the full-back, but it goes just wide.
31min: Huge chance missed from Napoli. Fabián Ruiz with a great through ball to Callejón who gives Mertens a tap-in, but the Belgian can’t quite get to the ball and misses in front of goal.
30min: Nice move inside the box, Pérez to Wagué who plays a great cross to Rakitic, but the Croatian heads it wide.
28min: Counter attack for Barça, Carles Pérez finds himself in space, cuts from right to left and fires a rocket at goal. Good save by Meret.
24min: Cooling break.
20min: NETO AGAIN! Another counter attack by Napoli, the ball finds Mertens who tries to pick out the bottom corner but Neto is alert and makes a good stop.
19min: WHAT A SAVE BY NETO!!! Beautiful one-two between Insigne and Fabián Ruiz, and Insigne’s shot from the penalty spot is stopped by the Brazilian keeper. WHAT. A. SAVE.
18min: Good long ball from Umtiti, Griezmann with a beautiful touch to Suárez, but his shot goes well over the bar.
12min: Griezmann is active so far and fires another shot, this time from distance which forces a good save by Meret.
8min: Corner from Rakitic, Suárez misses the volley but the ball finds Griezmann who fires just wide.
7min: Beautiful combination between Griezmann and Suárez in midfield starts a counter-attack, Junior Firpo receives in space but his cross is deflected for a corner.
4min: Mistake by Wagué and Todibo, Mertens tries a shot from a weird distance and angle but the ball goes over the bar.
KICKOFF! Napoli in home blues, Barça in home Croatians. Let’s do this.
Starting XI: Neto; Wagué, Todibo, Umtiti, Firpo; Rakitic, Busquets, Puig; Griezmann, Suárez, Pérez (4-3-3)
Bench: Ter Stegen, Iñaki Peña, Piqué, Lenglet, Semedo, Alba, De Jong, Roberto, Arthur, Aleñá, Rafinha, Dembélé, Ruiz
Starting XI: Meret; Di Lorenzo, Manolas, Maksimovic, Mário Rui; Zielinski, Elmas; Callejón, Fabián, Insigne; Mertens (4-2-3-1)
Bench: Ospina, Karnezis, Luperto, Chiriches, Malcuit, Hysaj, Ghoulam, Allan, Gaetano, Verdi, Younes, Milik
WELCOME TO MIAMI!!! The Hard Rock Stadium is the site of a big preseason friendly between Barcelona and Napoli, who face each other twice in America this week. The first game in Florida is a chance to watch two really good teams who are looking to build their fitness and get ready for the new season, and this should be a fun night of football in America. And you are welcome to join us to follow and comment all the action. LET’S LIVE BLOG!
(Note: the comments will be open only when the team news come out, because our commenter people love commenting and sometimes there are too many comments in the comments section)
Competition/Round: 2019 Preseason, United States Tour, Match 1
Date/Time: Wednesday, August 7, 2019, 1.30am CET (Barcelona, Thursday), 12.30am BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria, Thursday), 7.30pm ET, 4.30pm PT (USA), 5am IST (India, Thursday)
Venue: Hard Rock Stadium, Miami, USA
HOW TO WATCH, STREAM PRESEASON FRIENDLY
How to watch on TV: Premier Sports 1 (UK), TV3 (Spain), others
How to stream: ESPN+ (USA), Premier Player (UK), others
Matchday Thread Rules
We don’t have a lot of rules here, but there are a few things to keep in mind when joining our matchday threads:
Even if the referee sucks or we lose the game, be careful with the swearing. It’s just unnecessary. Also, don’t discuss illegal streaming links. Those who do it will be warned, and those who post links will be instantly banned. Finally, be nice to each other. This is a Barcelona community and we don’t need to offend one another.
Have fun with the game! Forever and ever, no matter the competition, VISCA EL BARÇA!