Barcelona kicked off their Champions League campaign with an impressive 5-1 win at Camp Nou against Hungarian champions Ferencvaros on Tuesday.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 27th minute before goals either side of half-time from Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho moved Barca out of sight.
Ferencvaros briefly got back into the game when Ihor Kharatin scored from the spot in the 70th minute after Gerard Pique was sent off for bringing down Tokmac Nguen. However, even with 10 men, Ronald Koeman’s side were too strong for their visitors and late goals from substitutes Pedri and Ousmane Dembele put the gloss on a comfortable win.
Messi led this Barca performance, scoring one and setting up another, but it was the performance of the younger generation which will excite the club’s supporters. There were two 17-year-olds on target in Fati and Pedri, while Francisco Trincao, 20, did well on his full debut on the right wing.
It took Barca a while to get going but once Messi gave them the lead they oozed confidence. Coutinho’s goal came at the end of a six-minute spell of sustained possession as the Catalans zipped the ball around in a way that will have pleased Koeman.
Pique and Clement Lenglet struggled to deal with Nguen’s speed all night and it ended up with Pique getting needlessly sent off. With Barca 3-0 up, he didn’t need to take Nguen down but he did, earning a red card and giving a penalty away in the process. What’s worse, he will miss next week’s game in Turin against Juventus.