Barcelona are off and running in this season’s Champions League thanks to an excellent 5-1 victory over Ferencváros at Camp Nou in the opening group stage match. Barça played really well for about 70 minutes, went down to 10 men in the final 20 but still cruised to a dominant win to start the European campaign in style.
Barça had a shaky start to the game, struggling to get out of first gear on offense and giving up a lot of space in behind for Ferencváros to attack, and they almost conceded early but Nguen had a goal disallowed for offside.
The early scare seemed to wake Barça up, and after the first 15 minutes they completely dominated the half, forcing the visitors to defend deep inside their half and creating loads of chances thanks to really good movement and passing. Francisco Trincão, Philippe Coutinho and Lionel Messi continued to look for each other, and Ansu Fati was always ready to fire shots at goal.
But with goalkeeper Dibusz making really good saves early on, Barça would need a moment of magic to unlock the door, and Messi provided it with a spectacular solo run through four defenders that earned him a penalty, which the captain dispatched with ease. The Blaugrana kept pressing after the first goal and eventually doubled their lead thanks to a neat finish from Fati after a spectacular pass from Frenkie De Jong.
At halftime Barça were playing well and in complete control, and it looked like they could easily score more in the second half if they maintained the same intensity.
Barça continued to dominate possession to start the final period, and they scored a quick third goal thanks to a beautiful assist by Fati and a good finish from Coutinho. The Blaugrana were just cruising after that, looking to just run out the clock and avoid trouble, but Gerard Piqué was called for a penalty and given a straight red card, Kharatin scored with 20 minutes to go, and things got a little nervous as Barça went down to 10 men.
Ferencváros had an extra man and showed the willingness to have the ball early in the game, so the visitors decided to send everyone forward, keep possession and try and find a second goal while Barça defended their box and looked to kill the game on the counter.
And that’s exactly what Barça did thanks to a spectacular run by Ousmane Dembélé, who took on his defender on the right wing, left him for dead with a gorgeous skill move, and found Pedri with a gorgeous assist for the Blaugrana’s fourth of the night. Dembélé then capped off his amazing substitute performance with his first goal of the season, and the final whistle came to end a dominant night for the Catalans.
Ferencváros weren’t bad by any stretch, so this is actually an impressive win for Barça given the performance and the scoreline. Plenty of encouraging signs as El Clásico approaches.
Barcelona: Neto; Roberto (Firpo 62’), Piqué, Lenglet, Dest; Pjanic (Busquets 76’), De Jong; Trincão (Dembélé 62’), Coutinho (Araujo 71’), Fati (Pedri 62’); Messi
Goals: Messi (27’ pen), Fati (42’), Coutinho (52’), Pedri (82’), Dembélé (89’)
Red Card: Piqué (68’)
Ferencváros: Dibusz; Botka (Lovrencsics 77’), Blažič, Kovačević, Ćivić (Heister 63’); Kharatin, Laïdouni (Somália 63’); Sigér; Zubkov (Mak 71’), Nguen (Boli 71’), Isael
Goal: Kharatin (70’)