FC Barcelona – Ferencvaros He was the night’s negative storyline
Barcelona beat Ferencvaros 5-1 on Tuesday evening to get their Champions League season off to a perfect start, but Gerard Pique’s sending off in the second half has stolen much of the attention on what should have been a night of celebration for the Catalans.
The result will give them a lot of confidence ahead of the weekend’s Clasico meeting with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou, but Pique’s dismissal did throw a dampener on things.
What’s perhaps most pleasing for coach Ronald Koeman is that each of the five goals was scored by a different player, with Lionel Messi, Ansu Fati, Pedri, Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho each netting.
Ansu Fati put his Spain struggles behind him with a fine performance.
The youngster sparkled, scored and picked up a delightful assist as well for Coutinho on the third.
Just 10 days before turning 18, Ansu celebrated his fifth goal of the season and fourth for Barcelona.
Gerard Pique made a mistake that someone of his experience shouldn’t.
The defender conceded a needless penalty, got himself sent off and will now miss Barcelona’s trip to face Juventus in Turin. A three-way punishment.
His sending off meant that Carles Alena, Riqui Puig and Martin Braithwaite stopped warming up ad Sergio Busquets, despite the plan being to rest him for Real Madrid, had to come on.
Barcelona will now be short in central defence when they take on Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus.
Antoine Griezmann sat on the bench from start to finish, which makes him a likely starter against Real Madrid.
Trincao did stake a claim for a place in the XI at the weekend with his performance, but all signs suggest that the Frenchman will return.
Messi did his thing again and was the most dangerous player on the pitch.
He started on the right before moving in and he marked the night by scoring a penalty to make it 16 consecutive scoring seasons in the Champions League.
The No.10 enjoyed a perfect warmup ahead of El Clasico.
Tokmac Nguen won the penalty and left a good impression at the Camp Nou.
He showed intelligence, pace and technique against Barcelona.
The Kenyan thought he had scored a great goal as well only to be thwarted by an offside call.