Suarez’s brace, Griezmann goal power Barca over Napoli
Luis Suarez scored twice, Antoine Griezmann netted his first goal for Barcelona and the Lionel Messi-less Spanish side ripped Napoli 4-0 Saturday in its final La Liga season tuneup.
Six days before Barcelona’s opener against Atletico Bilbao, and with new talk swirling about a possible Neymar return to Camp Nou, the Spanish club routed the same Italian side that fell 2-1 to Barca on Wednesday in Miami.
Messi did not make the US trip due to a calf injury but no Messi proved no problem for Barcelona.
A crowd of 60,043 at 110,000-seat Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, was treated to an exquisite passing display by Barcelona, which netted four goals in 15 minutes to seal Napoli’s fate.
Suarez opened the scoring in the 48th minute, the Uruguayan forward blasting in a rebound after a Griezmann shot had been denied, Napoli protesting in vain the French striker had been offside.
Griezmann opened his Barcelona goal account in the 56th minute after an impressive run by defender Jordi Alba. The Spaniard charged deep into the box, then flicked a pass to his right and Griezmann netted a left-footed tap-in to lift Barcelona ahead 2-0.
Before Napoli could regain composure, Suarez found the net against with a beauty in the 58th minute, the South American firing a right-footed blast from the top of the box and tucking the ball just inside the right goalpost.
French striker Ousmane Dembele completed the scoring in the 63rd minute, his right-footed blast for the right side tucking just inside the far post.
In France, meanwhile, Neymar was left out of Paris Saint-Germain’s opener and club sporting director Leonardo said transfer talks are “more advanced than before” regarding the Brazilian.
A move to Real Madrid or a return to Barcelona are seen as the most likely destinations for the world’s most expensive footballer, with Spanish media on Friday saying that Zinedine Zidane’s side will battle Barca for the 27-year-old’s signature.