MX23RW : Wednesday, September 18 21:14:56| >> :600:2992429:2992429:
Aug 10, 2019 at 10pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Attendance: 60,043
Barcelona
4-0
Napoli
Suarez (48', 58'), Griezmann (56'), Dembele (63')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Live Commentary: Barcelona 4-0 Napoli - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage of the pre-season clash between Barcelona and Napoli, which finished 4-0.
Live Commentary: Barcelona 4-0 Napoli - as it happened
© Reuters
2

Luis Suarez netted twice as Barcelona recorded a 4-0 victory over Napoli in Saturday's pre-season clash at the Michigan Stadium.

Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele were also on the scoresheet for the Spanish champions in what was the second meeting between the two teams in the space of three days.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the pre-season clash between Barcelona and Napoli from the Michigan Stadium. These two teams also met in Florida on Wednesday night, with Barca winning 2-1 courtesy of a late goal from Ivan Rakitic. What will occur tonight?

TEAMS!

NAPOLI: Meret; Hysaj, Manolas, Chiriches, Ghoulam; Allan, Elmas, Verdi, Fabian; Mertens, Callejon

BARCA: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Alba; Alena, Roberto, De Jong; Dembele, Suarez, Griezmann


Napoli boss Carlo Ancelotti has shuffled his pack from the clash on Wednesday, with only five players keeping their spot in the XI. Dries Mertens was due to be joined by Arkadiusz Milik in an attacking position, but the centre-forward pulled up in the warm-up and now Jose Callejon is in. Allan, Simone Verdi and Faouzi Ghoulam are also amongst those to come into the starting side.

As for Barca, head coach Ernesto Valverde has made nine changes to the team that started the first match against Napoli with only Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann staying in the side. Frenkie de Jong is given the nod in central midfield, while Ousmane Dembele will feature in the final third of the field. Kickoff is just around the corner now!

Barca will open their 2019-20 La Liga campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on August 16, while Napoli's Serie A season starts on the road to Fiorentina on August 24. It will be interesting to see what type of game occurs tonight - Wednesday's fixture was excellent.

Both sets of players are now on the field after a short delay, meaning that kickoff will be a touch late. It is another healthy crowd inside what is an impressive stadium in Michigan.

KICKOFF:  Napoli get the game underway here, six minutes past the hour...

... it has been a bright start from both teams with Napoli already breaking down the left through Verdi and Barca looking to break clear through Dembele. The crowd inside the stadium are very, very excited. Hopefully this game is as good as Wednesday's one.

Just a reminder that Barca are again without the services of Lionel Messi, who has a calf problem. The Argentina is actually a doubt for the team's La Liga opener next weekend. Back to the contest here and Napoli are currently enjoying possession inside their own half.

Semedo and Dembele have both been able to show their incredible pace in the first six minutes of this game, with the pair linking well down the right. Barca are enjoying more of the ball at the moment - Napoli, though, have so much quality throughout their team.

SHOT!  Ghoulam breaks into a shooting position for Napoli before striking towards goal, but the left-back's effort was always rising over the crossbar. Powerful run!

Alena has been nice and bright for Barca in the opening 10 minutes, while De Jong looks class alongside him in central midfield. There is a lot of hype surrounding the Netherlands international and he has had a fine pre-season. The 22-year-old is a huge talent.

Quite a sloppy period in the last couple of minutes with both teams guilty of losing the ball in the final third of the field. Still plenty of intent, though. It has been a positive start.

Just a reminder that these two teams met in Florida on Wednesday night - if you missed it then here is our match report from what was an excellent game.

Napoli's Eljif Elmas in action with Barcelona's Sergio Busquets in a pre-season match on August 7, 2019© Reuters


CHANCE!  Huge chance for Barca to take the lead as Luis Suarez drives into the Napoli box before finding Griezmann, but the attacker somehow fires wide of Meret's post!

Barca would be ahead on points if this were a boxing match. Indeed, the Spanish side are showing the greater intent. Napoli, though, are always dangerous on the counter-attack.

It would be fair to say that Griezmann has still not fully found himself in a Barca shirt. The Frenchman was lively in the first half on Wednesday, though, and has been bright here. Again the Frenchman looks to feed a pass into Suarez but Meret makes the claim.

De Jong continues to make things happen in midfield for Barca but the Dutchman has just been chopped to the ground by Allan and his boot came off (yes, it is a quiet spell).

Not too much to report in terms of chances at the moment, with neither side creating too much in the final third of the field. Both defences are standing up well at the moment.

Ghoulam takes an arm in the face from Pique as the two players engage in a battle, and the referee eventually stops the play which allows some of the players to grab a drink.

In fact, there is an official hydration break with 25 minutes on the clock here.

Back underway in Michigan... we need a goal. The game has not quite been at the same level as Wednesday's affair, which produced a whole host of entertaining moments.

Little over 15 minutes of the first period remaining and we are still goalless in Michigan. It will be interesting to see whether both managers make big changes at the break here.

Barca open their 2019-20 La Liga campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on August 16, while Napoli's Serie A season starts on the road to Fiorentina on August 24. Bilbao away is a very tough start for the Spanish champions but they will fancy collecting all three points.

The crowd are pretty excited at the moment as a Mexican wave goes around the stadium, which to be honest, is an indication of what is happening on the field - not too much.

End-to-end football in the last couple of minutes but both sides are still finding it tough to carve out clear chances. Napoli currently have the ball in Barca's half of the field here.

Half-chance for Napoli as Mertens breaks into the Barca box before looking to have a shot, but Lenglet is across to make an excellent block. Smart defending there.

A few half-chances for Barca in quick succession but Dembele and Griezmann both have shots blocked inside the Napoli box. Meret still hasn't had a save of note to make here.

Possession football for Barca as we head for the interval. Napoli, though, have defended impressively for much of this first period. The game is lacking real tempo at the moment.

SAVE!  Smart save from Meret to keep out a low strike from Dembele after the Barca attacker had driven into a dangerous position. Much better from the Frenchman there.

Alena stays on the ground following a late challenge in the middle of the park but the midfielder is soon back on his feet. We are still waiting for the first goal of the night.

SAVE!  Another decent save from Meret to keep out an attempt from Suarez.

Not been the best of first periods here to be brutally honest, especially when considering the opening half of the first match between the two teams on Wednesday night.

HALF TIME:  BARCELONA 0-0 NAPOLI

So there we have it - the referee brings the first period to a close with the two teams level at 0-0. Both have had their moments in the final third, although it would be difficult to say that either side deserves to lead at this stage. Not the most entertaining game thus far.

STATISTICS! Barca had 59% of the possession in the first period, while they managed five attempts but just two were on target. Napoli also had five attempts but failed to test Ter Stegen. No yellow cards despite the fact that there have been some tasty tackles.

Other notable statistics have seen both teams ruled offside on one occasion, while Barca have had 12 throw ins to Napoli's five. And Barca eight fouls to Napoli's four.


BENCH WATCH! It remains to be seen whether Milik is available to play tonight as the striker was named in the starting XI before being pulled out as a precaution. The likes of Di Lorenzo, Gaetano, Insigne, Younes, Rui and Zielinki could all feature in the second half, though.

Barca, meanwhile, have the likes of Rafinha, Busquets, Rakitic, Arthur and Umtiti in reserve tonight. It will be very interesting to see how both managers use their benches here.


Neither team are in much of a rush at the moment as they trickle back onto the field. Not certain of any changes at the moment but I shall let you know as soon as possible.

Oh my goodness me - no rush lads! Napoli have been on the field for some time but Barca are still in the tunnel having a chat. Pre-season friendlies are fun for many reasons!

KICKOFF:  Barca resume the action here...

... NAPOLI SUBS! Zielinski and Luperto have replaced Elmas and Chiriches.

NAPOLI SUB! Insigne also replaced Allan for Napoli at the interval.

No Barca changes at the break, which is not a surprise when considering that their league season starts next weekend. Valverde will want to get more minutes in a number of legs.

GOAL!  BARCELONA 1-0 NAPOLI (LUIS SUAREZ)

GOAL!  Barcelona make the breakthrough in the 48th minute as Luis Suarez converts from inside the box after Griezmann had seen his strike brilliantly saved by Meret!

A number of outlets appear to be counting this as 3-1 on aggregate when taking into consideration the first match as well but that has not been confirmed. It is all quite confusing so let's just say Barca lead by the one goal on the night in Michigan.

You do get the feeling that Valverde will wait until the 65th minute or so before making changes ahead of the clash with Bilbao but that remains to be seen. Dembele continues to cause a lot of problems with his pace and movement in the final third of the field.

SHOT!  Luis Suarez fires a deep corner wide of the Napoli post from close range.

YELLOW CARD!  Semedo (Barca) is booked for a heavy tackle on Mertens.

Napoli are having their moments on the break but Barca are in control here.

GOAL!  BARCELONA 2-0 NAPOLI (GRIEZMANN)

GOAL!  And there is the second! Barca double their advantage as Jordi Alba breaks into the Napoli box before feeding a low cross into Griezmann, who simply cannot miss. It was a wonderful passing move from the Spanish champions, who are in total control now.

GOAL!  BARCELONA 3-0 NAPOLI (LUIS SUAREZ)

GOAL!  Oh my word! It is stunning from Luis Suarez as the striker shapes up outside the Napoli box before bending the ball into the corner of the net. Wonderful, wonderful finish.

NAPOLI SUBS! Rui and Di Lorenzo enter for Hysaj and Ghoulam here.

Still no changes from Barca but we are entering the stage of the match where Valverde will be considering changes ahead of the clash with Bilbao. Luis Suarez surely will not play the full 90 minutes despite being keen to complete his hat-trick here.

GOAL!  BARCELONA 4-0 NAPOLI (DEMBELE)

GOAL!  Barca are running riot here! Dembele gets his name on the scoresheet as the Frenchman confronts his full-back inside the Napoli box before finding the bottom corner with a fine strike.

BARCELONA SUBS! Wholesale changes for Barca. I shall confirm when the information becomes available as everyone has just flooded off the field!

BARCELONA SUBS! Griezmann, Luis Suarez, Pique, Alena and Semedo leave the field with Rafinha, Arthur, Vidal, Umtiti and Coutinho entering in Michigan.

Time for another hydration break here.

Back underway in Michigan... can the Napoli players give their fans inside the stadium something to cheer? It has been some second-half performance from Barca here.

Little under 20 minutes of the second period remaining and I would be surprised if we had seen the last of the goals when considering the attacking talent on the field here.

Rui breaks down the left for Napoli and delivers a very dangerous cross into the middle of the box, but Lenglet does really well to make the challenge.

YELLOW CARD!  Rui (Napoli) is booked for pulling Dembele back.

Quite a scrappy game at the moment with both sets of players flying into challenges - it might not be too long before Vidal picks up a yellow card in this game!

BARCELONA SUB! Dembele is replaced by Ruiz for the Spanish champions.

SAVE!  Smart save from Meret to keep out an attempt from Rafinha after the Brazilian had worked some space before looking to pick out the top corner. Still 4-0 to Barca here.

Little over 10 minutes of the second period remaining and Barca are on the front foot as they look to score a fifth. Napoli have just not turned up in the second half here.

SHOT!  Gaetano strikes one from distance but his effort was always too high. Napoli have not had anywhere near enough attempts in the second half of this contest.

Barca will open their 2019-20 La Liga campaign away to Athletic Bilbao on August 16, while Napoli's Serie A season starts on the road to Fiorentina on August 24. Bilbao will be slightly concerned with Barca's performance in this match, without Messi of course.

Little over five minutes of the second period remaining and we have not really had many chances since Barca scored their fourth. Is there going to be a fifth goal late on?

Pass, pass, pass from Barca as they look to work some space in the final third. Napoli, though, have looked better at the back since the likes of Di Lorenzo and Rui entered.

Coutinho has had a few nice dribbles for Barca since entering the field but not too much of an end product, which is the story of his time with the club to be brutally honest.

Barca are keeping the ball as we head into stoppage time - no real desire from the Spanish champions to score a fifth at the moment. Not long left in this pre-season clash.

FULL TIME:  BARCELONA 4-0 NAPOLI

So there we have it - the referee brings the second period to a close with Barca running out 4-0 winners on the night courtesy of a brace from Luis Suarez, and goals from Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele. A fine performance from the Spanish champions!

That is just about it from me tonight. I shall leave you with the match report from what was an impressive Barca performance. Be sure to join us again very soon. Until next time!

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Philippe Coutinho celebrates scoring for Barcelona on April 16, 2019
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