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Aug 23, 2011

FC Barcelona won the 46th edition of the annual pre-season friendly Joan Gamper tournament at Camp Nou with an emphatic 5-0 victory over Napoli. With this victory Barca has won the trophy which is named after the founder of the club for the 35th time. For Guardiola it's not a bad trophy to win, as the last two times he won the same, he went on to win the Champion League as a coach. In the 2009-10 season, Manchester City beat us to our own trophy and strangely Guardiola's team went down to Inter in the Champions League semi-final. So it's a very good way to start the season, or precisely end the pre-season. Highlights of the match has been included in the end of the post. Goals from Cesc Fabregas, Keita gave Barca a 2-0 lead. After the break Pedro made it 3-0 and then a brace from the genius Messi made it 5-0. Even though it was a friendly, the second half saw one of the best passage of one touch football you will ever witness, climaxing with Lionel Messi's first goal of the match.

Cesc Fabregas made his official Barca start in the first half with a line-up which had Pinto, Montoyo, Pique, Fontas, Adriano, keita, Thiago, Fabregas, Iniesta, Kiko and Villa. Cesc Fabregas played just behind the strikers, partly as a false 9, maybe that's the way Guardiola is looking to have him used more in the starting eleven. Anyway he opened the scoring for Barca after he clamly slotted a good cross from Adriano into the net. The second goal from Keita was the result of the genius of Iniesta. Keita started the move with a pass to Villa who passed it to Iniesta, Inietsa then spotted Keita's run into the box and found his man with a great chip over the defense and keita made no mistake with the header. In the second half as expected Guardiola made wholesale changes. It started with a formation of Pinto, DosSantos, Bartra, Fontas, Adriano, Sergi Roberto, Keita, Thiago, Cuenca, Cesc and Pedro. But soon he introduced Messi, Xavi, Abidal, Mascherano and Busquets. The third goal came from a moment of magic from Messi. Messi send in a great curling free kick to the top corner, the Napoli custodian made a brilliant save but could do nothing preventing Pedro in slotting the rebound. But the best moment of play was still to some and that resulted in the fourt and first of Messi's goal of the night. It was a brilliant period of first touch passing which ended with Messi finsihing off Pedro's cross from left. But that goal is worth a watch. Our movement in that goal strip Napoli defense apart. Even Guardiola was shocked by the way we constructed that goal.

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