Barcelona finished preparations for the new season with some positivity as they beat Juventus 3-0 at the Johan Cruyff Stadium in the 2021 Joan Gamper Trophy. The Blaugrana played a solid attacking game for all 90 minutes, and despite a few bad moments in defense they managed to keep a clean sheet and will go into the new season with good feelings as the post-Messi era begins.
Barça started the game with a goal as Yusuf Demir released Memphis Depay and the Dutchman didn’t disappoint in a one-on-one with Szczesny, and the Blaugrana had the lead within three minutes.
The home team continue to attack well with plenty of movement and smart passing, and Demir and Memphis were the stars of the show with their incisiveness and creativity. Demir had a goal disallowed for offside, and Antoine Griezmann had a goal of his own called off for the same reason as Barça could have capped off an impressive first half with another goal or two.
Juventus were largely lifeless throughout the first 30 minutes but slowly started to bring danger on the counter-attack, and Neto needed to make two important saves on shots by Álvaro Morata and Cristiano Ronaldo in the final moments of the half.
At halftime, a good Barça performance had the lead it deserved but there was still work to be done in the second half to finish the job.
Juventus made a strong start to the second half, with halftime substitutes bringing a lot of energy and intensity to the attack, and Federico Chiesa had moments of brilliance that required Neto to intervene again.
Slowly but surely the Juve pressure lost some steam, and Barça had a comfortable end to the game where they controlled possession and tried to get a third. And that’s what they did with the final kick of the game, when a very good team passing sequence ended with a great goal by Riqui Puig to make it 3-0 as the final whistle sounded.
Life without Messi will not be easy and the defense is still a concern, but Barça showed enough good signs to believe they can be at least competitive this season. La Liga starts next week, and Barça look like they’re ready.
Barcelona: Neto; Dest (Royal 61’), Araujo (Umtiti 61’), Piqué, Alba (Balde 71’); Roberto (Puig 71’), Busquets, Demir (Nico 61’); Griezmann (Collado 85’), Braithwaite (Manaj 77’), Memphis
Goals: Memphis (3’), Braithwaite (57’), Puig (90+2’)
Juventus: Szczesny; De Sciglio, De Ligt, Rugani, Sandro; Bentancur, Ramsey, Bernardeschi; Cuadrado, Morata, Ronaldo