Barça’s second preseason game ended with an impressive 0-7 victory over Norwegian side Valerenga at the Ullevaal Stadion in Oslo. Goals from Alexis Sanchez, Cristian Tello, Leo Messi and Johnathan dos Santos gave Barça a 0-4 lead at half time, then a second-half brace from Jean-Marie Dongou and a late goal from Joan Angel Roman completed the rout.
Jordi Roura started with the same XI that started against Bayern on Wednesday but with new boss Tata Martino watching from the stands Barça started in spectacular fashion. The first goal came in the fourth minute after Messi played a long right-footed pass out to Alexis in space on the right, Alexis was allowed to advance into the area before cutting inside a defender and shooting low past Valerenga’s keeper Lars Hirschfeld. Two minutes later Messi slipped away from an opponent before sending a defence-splitting pass through to Tello who gave Hirschfeld no chance with his side-foot finish.
Messi was looking irrestible. To add to his two assists he fired Barça further in front after only 13 minutes. Sergi Roberto burst forward in the inside left position before slipping the ball inside to Messi, there were three defenders in close attention but Messi accelerated into the area and whipped in a low shot that Hirschfeld touched but couldn’t prevent from going in. Three minutes later Sergi Roberto made a similar run forward and again found Messi, this time the Argentinian switched onto his right foot but his shot came out off the post and Dos Santos couldn’t find the target with the rebound.
If the Norwegians were finding Messi impossible to control they were also having problems dealing with Sergi Roberto. Following the sale of Thiago Alcántara it could be a big year for the youngster from Reus and he will have been keen to impress his new boss. To add to his impressive runs forward he played one delightful chip over the defence to Messi who came close to beating Hirschfeld with a flick through his legs. Soon after Alexis was put through by Sergi Roberto but the keeper came out well to narrow the angle.
Hirschfeld needed to make two more saves from Messi who also thrilled the crowd with a couple of magical dribbles. Then shortly before the break Alexis sent in a low cross from the right and Dos Santos did well to get in front of his marker before beating Hirschfeld with a low shot inside the near post.
Roura made just three changes at half time with Oier Olazábal and the 18-year-olds Dongou and Sergi Samper replacing Pinto, Messi and Alex Song. Dongou quickly showed a good understanding with Alexis, in the 51st minute the Chilean slipped a pass into the right of the area and Dongou cut his shot back through Hirschfeld’s legs for Barça’s fifth. Just four minutes later Sergi Roberto pushed a pass through to Alexis who unselfishly squared for Dongou who had an easy finish for his second of the game.
After an hour both sides made muliple changes with eight new players coming on for each side. Barça now had the same XI as for the second half in Munich except for the presence of Samper in place of Jordi Quintilla. The game became more evenly balanced and Valerenga managed their first attempts on goal with Oier forced into diving saves from shots by Fellah and Diego Calvo. The young Barça keeper nearly had egg on his face when he allowed a soft header from Calvo to slip through his hands though he recovered in time to save on the line.
Barça’s best chance after the changes fell to Javi Espinosa after Ilie’s assist in the 77th minute but his shot went just wide. Then with just five minutes remaining Joan Roman dribbled across the area before firing high past the keeper. It was good for the Barça youngsters to get their own particular victory and Dongou might have added another but he pulled his shot just wide and missed out on a hat-trick.
Again few conclusions can be taken today though it was pleasing to see the good performances from Messi, Sergi Roberto and Alexis while Song and Dos Santos also deserve a mention. Just for the record we played Valerenga in a friendly in July 2010 and won the game 2-4, and that season we finished up with La Liga and the Champions League. Tata Martino will now take the reins for Tuesday’s rearranged game in Gdansk against Lechia.
Valerenga: Hirschfeld, Muri, Larsen, Berre, Ogude, Thomassen, Haestad, Hogh, Anene, Braaten, Zahid. Second half subs: Giancarlo González, Solli, Wawrzynkiewicz, Lecjaks, Zajic, Hogh, Diego Calvo, Fellah, Berven, Nasberg.
Barça: Pinto (Oier h/t); Montoya (Femenia m61, Bartra (Sergi Gomez m61), Mascherano (Planas m61), Adriano (Patric m61); Dos Santos (Espinosa m61), Song (Sergi Samper h/t), Sergi Roberto (Ilie m61); Alexis (Joan Roman m61), Messi (Dongou h/t), Tello (Dani Nieto m61).
Goals: m4 Alexis 0-1, m6 Tello 0-2, m13 Messi 0-3, m42 Dos Santos 0-4, m51 Dongou 0-5, m55 Dongou 0-6, m86 Joan Roman 0-7.