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Barcelona enjoy best possible warm-up for El Clasico

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Pieces falling into place for Ronald Koeman

FC Barcelona v Ferencvaros Budapest: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Before the inevitable cries of ‘it’s only Ferencvaros’ populate the comments section, let’s start this piece by saying that Barca can only beat who is in front of them.

Experience has told us that games against supposed ‘lesser’ opponents rarely prove to be easy. Just look at Real Madrid this past weekend by way of example.

Perhaps that was in the backs of Barca’s minds in the early stages of Tuesday night’s encounter because, but for the woodwork and the linesman’s flag, we could’ve legitimately conceded two before finally clicking into gear.

When we did, however, it was magnificent at times.

Balls being popped about sharply and accurately, players hunting down their opponents... or in Trincao’s case mesmerising his opposite number.

FBL-EUR-C1-BARCELONA-FERENCVAROS Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

What a performance from the youngster. Yes, the lack of an end product was mildly aggravating at times, but let’s cut the 20-year-old some slack. Some of the skill that he produced was scintillating.

If supporters were in the stadium, they would’ve been up on their feet on more than one occasion.

The babies in the team - Ansu and Pedri - deserved their time in the limelight again too. Of course, it’s something that the former has become accustomed to, and the way the latter is playing, he’ll soon regularly be getting his share of the plaudits on a weekly basis.

At just 17 years of age, both are already creating history:

How good to see Ousmane Dembele flying down the right flank too.

The Frenchman, his own worst enemy at times, has had a torrid year because of injuries, but he looks to be back to full fitness and ready to take on all-comers.

Ditto Philippe Coutinho who remains probably Barca’s best player this season. Who would’ve said that a couple of months ago?!

The only sour point to the night was Gerard Pique’s red card which rules him out of the Juventus match.

FC Barcelona v Ferencvaros Budapest: Group G - UEFA Champions League Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Rather than dwell on that, let’s look forward to seeing how well Ronald Araujo stands up to the test that he will face against the Bianconeri. It’s a perfect opportunity to show his mettle.

All in all, it was a very satisfactory night’s work and there’s absolutely more to come from this team, they’re just getting started.

Once they hit their stride at about the mid-point of the season, I’d suggest that there won’t be too many teams able to live with them domestically or in Europe.

If they’re on it this weekend, Real won’t be able to live with them either.

Watch this space.