FC Barcelona started their 2012-13 pre-season tonight with a victory against German side Hamburg. It was the first match after Tito Vilanova has taken over as the coach and he should be delighted with victory. Lionel Messi who was expected to feature in the match had to pull out due to a calf strain. The club doctors are monitoring the situation and making sure that the World's Best Player will be available for the start of the season in top condition. Coming into the match, the jersey looked horrible on the pitch and I cannot wait to watch that horrible away jersey. The squad consisted of available first team players and a host of B team players. Vilanova has left out players who were coming out of injury and also the Spanish players who featured in Euro cup. Tito started with Pinto, Alves, Mascherano, Batra, Adriano, Espinosa, Dos Santos, Sergi Roberto, Afellay, Alexis and Deulofeu. The second half saw a different line-up with Pinto, Balliu, Sergi Gomez, Muniesa, Planas, Patric, Llie, Sergi Roberto, Joan Roman, Rafinha and Lobato.
Dani Alves opened the scoring with a screamer in the 5th minute. But in the 20th minute Hamburg struck back through Arslan in a passage of play which made our defense look childish. In the 37th minute Deulofe made it 2-1 when he latched onto a clearance from the Hamburg goal keeper. All credit for that goal should go to Afellay. That goal was enough for Barca to secure the victory. The match ended with a very bad news of Muniesa getting injured. It looks like he has torn the right knee ligament which could see him out of action for sometime.
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