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Napoli vs Barcelona: Match Recap
Alex Meret in action during Napoli vs Barcelona.

On a sun soaked Michigan afternoon, Barcelona strutted to victory against Napoli - the Catalan's imperious as they blew their Serie A opponents away in a whirlwind opening to the second half. 

Carlo Ancelotti made eight changes to the side that narrowly lost leg one. Fabián Ruiz moved into midfield as Arkadiusz Milik partnered Dries Mertens up front. Kostas the solitary player to keep his place from the defensive and midfield eight. 

Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez kept their starting positions as Ernesto Valverde brought a number of well known names back into the Barca lineup. Marc-André ter Stegen took up his place between the posts as Gerard Piqué, Frenkie de Jong and Ousmane Dembélé started the match – Lionel Messi was once again absent through an injury picked up before the Catalans arrived on US soil. 

A fiery opening half saw opportunities for both sides to take the lead, but with the Italian's chasing an aggregate score deficit the emphasis was very much on the Partenopei to break the deadlock. 

As it was, Barcelona carved out the first chance of the evening - and it fell to their biggest signing of the transfer window so far. Griezmann steered his shot wide from close range on 14 minutes – Suarez with some excellent work to pick the Frenchman out in space.

Luis Suarez celebrating one of his two goals against Napoli in Michigan.

It was the Catalan giants who controlled the first half, Dembélé impressing with his pace and the winger should have found the net just after the half hour mark - but celebrations were cut short by a wonderful last-ditch block by Faouzi Ghoulam, who put his body on the line to keep the scores level. 

Napoli then carved out their own chances as the break loomed and should have gone into the halftime break ahead. Simone Verdi's cross found Fabian Ruiz unmarked at the back post but the Spaniard fluffed his lines, dragging his shot wide of the opening left by ter Stegen. 

Carlo Ancelotti could only watch on as the aggregate score increased shortly after the restart, Suarez opening the scoring on 48 minutes.  The forward picked out Griezmann with an improvised flick, his shot was saved by Alex Meret – however, the goalkeeper's parry only found the feet of the Uruguayan, who tapped the ball home. 

Barcelona then went through the gears, picking off their Serie A opponents at will – their second goal a passage of sublime play.

Carles Aleñá caressed the ball through to Jordi Alba who spotted Griezmann all alone on the far side of the box, the Frenchman wasn't going to miss from close range. 

Two soon became three as Dembélé found Suarez unmarked on the edge of the penalty area, what followed was pure magic – Meret was left helpless as the ball curled past him into the top corner, it was a phenomenal strike by the forward. 

The result was then assured as Dembélé dropped his shoulder and left the Napoli defense in his wake, his pinpoint drive from 17 yards nestled in the bottom corner – Barcelona had turned the game on its head in under 20 second half minutes. 

Frenkie de Jong carrying the ball from out of his own half.

Stars of the match:

Antoine Griezmann

The 28-year-old is no stranger to scoring goals for Spanish sides but the Frenchman looks at home already in the attire of the La Liga champions. 

His linkup play with Suarez and Dembélé could be something to behold as the season gets underway in Spain – it certainly was this afternoon. 

Luiz Suarez 

Creator or goalscorer – the Uruguayan can play either and his sublime strike on 59 minutes was the pick of the fantastic four hit by the Catalan's. 

Suarez seems incapable of playing the game at anything but 100 mile per hour and his drive and tenacity powered Barcelona to a convincing win.   

Ousmane Dembélé

His future may be the subject of constant rumor but the 22-year-old showed why Barcelona were so keen to secure his services from Borussia Dortmund. Tormenting the Napoli backline with his speed and skill he not only grabbed an assist but also a goal of his own – by his own making.

 
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