okyo, July 27 (IANS) Barcelona earned a comfortable 2-0 win over Japans Vissel Kobe here on Saturday in the Spanish teams second pre-season friendly.
Barcelona had to face Andres Iniesta, a former Barça player who joined the Japanese team and put on an outstanding performance in his first game against the Catalan club.
The 35-year-old made it clear that he is taking the match seriously in the early going when he stole the ball from Clement Lenglet and then fired a shot that just missed Marc-André ter Stegen’s goal, reports Efe news.
David Villa and Sergi Samper, also former Barcelona players, started the game, although they did not shine as much as Iniesta.
On the other side of the field, Barcelona played with more intensity than in the first game that saw it lose 2-0 to Chelsea.
Thanks to the pressure Barcelona applied, its first scoring chance came as Riqui Puig recovered the ball inside the area, but he was unable to make the most of it.
The first half came to an end with Barcelona in control of the game, but it was not able to convert its domination onto the scoreboard despite attempts by Antoine Griezmann, Jordi Alba and Ivan Rakitic.
Barcelona started the second half with a different lineup that included Ousmane Dembele as a striker and Frenkie de Jong in the midfield.
Vissel’s coach Thorsten Fink decided to replace Iniesta and Villa at halftime.
Jean-Clair Todibo had a clear chance to put Barcelona on the scoreboard with a header that hit the woodwork and a back heel touch by De Jong ended up going easily into the goalkeeper’s hands.
Shortly before the one-hour mark, Carles Perez broke the scoreless deadlock, as he put the ball between Daiya Maekawa’s legs.
With four minutes to go before second-half stoppage time, Perez completed his brace with a shot that found the back of the net.