FC Barcelona warmed up for their Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla with a 3-2 win at home to Italian side Sampdoria in the traditional Joan Gamper trophy game in the Camp Nou Stadium.
The result pleased the fans in a half-full Camp Nou, but coming on the back of a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool, Barca coach Luis Enrique will not be happy with the defensive lapses which allowed Sampdoria to score two goals.
Although Barca were without Neymar, who is playing for Brazil in the Olympic Games, it needed just 20 minutes for Luis Suarez and Leo Messi to show they have hit the ground running at the start of the season as they put Barca 2-0 ahead.
Barca’ s pre-season has been marred by defensive weakness and Sampdoria combined magnificently to draw a goal back in the 22nd minute for Luis Muriel to beat Claudio Bravo, who shortly afterwards was replaced by Ter Stegen in the Barca goal.
A bleached blond and bearded Messi needed less than 10 minutes to put Barca 3-1 ahead after 34 minutes with a 30-yard free kick into the corner of the net.
The second half saw changes and Denis Suarez was unlucky not to cap his return to the Camp Nou with a goal after seeing his shot hit the post, while Arda Turam, who impressed on the wing also hit the woodwork.
Ante Budimir again brought Sampdoria into the game in the 77th minute when he scored after Javier Mascherano struggled to deal with a diagonal cross into the Barca area and the defensive issues of Luis Enrique’ s side should make for a fascinating Supercup when they visit Sevilla on Sunday.