BarcelonaOnly ten minutes of the game had passed and Barça had already scored four times. Three goals and a ball on the post. Blaugrana’s superiority was so great in the Joan Gamper Trophy that if the team didn’t lift their foot off the accelerator, the game would have ended with an even more scandalous thrashing (6-0). Lewandowski, Pedri (2), Dembélé, Aubameyang and Frenkie de Jong scored the goals.
The Pumas, a rival that had to be chosen quickly after Roma left Barça stranded, did not at any time shake the Blaugrana’s solidity. Instead, the festival of goals and chances served to make the more than 83,000 fans who went to the Camp Nou enjoy the most. Lewandowski made his debut as a goalscorer, Pedri put on an exhibition in the middle of the field and in the opponent’s area, and both Dembélé and Raphinha overflowed once yes and the other also on the respective sides.
Pumas, a very weak opponent
The Gamper, as President Joan Laporta understands it, is an event with a triple objective. Starting to present the team, continuing to fill the stadium and ending with playing a top-level opponent that allows you to examine Barça just before the season begins. The Pumas did not fulfill this last point, not even by a long shot. The Mexican team was not up to it, neither technically nor tactically. And, at times, the fitness of some players was also questioned. And that in Mexico the league has already started seven days ago.
The fans were in the mood for a party and Lewandowski took it upon himself to serve up as much fun as possible. The Pole turned the first ball he touched into a goal by receiving in the area, cutting the goalkeeper and scoring despite being almost without an angle. They could have had a couple more, if it weren’t for the post, first, and the goalkeeper, then, preventing their shots. But the competition for Barça’s star signing this summer did not end with the finals. He took part in three of the other four goals that were scored on the pitch. In two, as the main assistant. He played for an hour and earned the tournament’s Star Player award.
Lewandowski was the most talked about name in the game, although not the only star on the pitch. Pedri only played the first half, but he had more than enough to show his full potential. Two goals and an assist, plus a display in positional play, control of the game and pressure. The Pumas weren’t great, but the solidity in midfield was so great that it prevented the Mexicans from having many dangerous chances. In fact, only two shots between the three posts, and both solved magnificently by a Ter Stegen who had little work, but what he had he did it like in the old days.
For the Pumas, who have only won one of the six games they have played in Mexico – they have drawn five – the game did not have much history. However, for Xavi it was quite the opposite. The Blaugrana coach saw Gamper as a final testing ground before the start of the competition. He did not tire of giving instructions and following a duel in which he made Dembélé and Raphinha, the two main wingers, exchange positions throughout the first half. Dembélé scored, finishing home after a cross from Raphinha. The Brazilian, on the other hand, was left with honey on his lips after sending a ball onto the post.
Dani Alves, who was returning to the Camp Nou wearing the Pumas shirt – the Blaugrana club took the opportunity to pay tribute to him – could not do anything to stop the Blaugrana gale. He was not helped by his teammates either, who took the ball from the back with great difficulty and made numerous mistakes in the offside. Six goals is a lot. Now, the reality is that Barça could have drawn much more blood. In the end, they all hugged and Alves ended up receiving the congratulations of all the Blaugrana players, who also kept him in the center circle.
Frenkie de Jong vindicates himself with a goal at Gamper
Alves is no longer there. Frenkie de Jong, on the other hand, is balancing so as not to have to leave. The Dutch midfielder, whom the club wants to sell for financial reasons, came on in the second half in place of Pedri. He did more than well, motivated and eager to vindicate himself in a Camp Nou that received him with an ovation. His stubbornness paid off as he scored the sixth goal in a move where he did it all: recover in the middle of the field, face the goalkeeper and beat him with a shot close to the post. A few minutes earlier, Aubameyang had been responsible for making the fifth, finishing at the far post from a Kessie cross.
In addition to the debut of Lewandowski and Raphinha, Gamper helped two of the other three signings of this summer make their Camp Nou debuts. Only central Christensen missed the game, due to muscle discomfort. Kessie came out at the start of the second half to show his full physical potential in midfield, where he outpaced his opponents, while late arrival Jules Kounde played the final 30 minutes. Of course, the circumstances of the match prevented him from shining in one of his strong points, the departure of the ball. In any case, the French center played with the number 23 on his back, which Umtiti has worn so far, whom the club also wants to sell and who was not even at the official presentation of the squad, which makes think about an imminent departure.