Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville said before the game that the friendly against Barcelona was “the biggest match in club history.”
That may have been the case, but it didn’t produce fond memories for the home side as Barcelona embarrassed the MLS club 6-0 in a pre-season friendly at DRV PNK Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale. The Catalan club ran the show from the opening whistle to the final kick, creating wave after wave of pressure while Inter Miami did their best just to keep up. The hosts, meanwhile, had almost nothing going forward, with barely a sniff of the attacking third.…CONTINUE READING
While Robert Lewandowski wasn’t quite ready to take part, the other three new signings starred for Barcelona in the first half. Raphinha picked up a goal and two assists to lead the way, while Franck Kessie pulled all the strings and Andreas Christensen blanketed former Real Madrid frontman Gonzalo Higuain.
In the second half, the Barcelona substitutes ran a second-string Inter Miami lineup ragged and capped off a three-goal display of their own.
Inter Miami brought both David Beckham’s son Romeo and Neville’s son Harvey off the bench for cameos, but it was only a slight respite on an otherwise comprehensive defeat.
New Boys Raphinha, Kessie Star In Barcelona Debut
It was almost fitting that a player with the glitz and flair of Raphinha made his first Barcelona appearance in a city of equal glamor. In the starting lineup after a move from Leeds United, the Brazilian ran the show in the first half, producing a cheeky goal while setting up two teammates for their moments.
It was a harbinger of what may be to come in his first season at the Catalan club, hoping to push Barcelona towards a bounce-back season.
Another new signing, Franck Kessie, was equally as impressive, pulling the strings for every single Barcelona attack in the first half. The former AC Milan midfielder was all over the pitch, troubling Inter Miami from all corners of the attacking third.
It seemed like every touch from the Ivorian — of which there were many — turned to gold. With Kessie leading the progression, plus the likes of Raphinha, Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leading the attack, this is an incredibly dangerous Barcelona team that should leave last season’s early struggles far in the rear-view mirror.