Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo, newcomers to Barcelona, scored their inaugural targets for La Blaugrana throughout a dominant 5-0 victory in opposition to Actual Betis in a La Liga match held on Saturday.
Earlier Atletico Madrid have been hammered 3-0 by Valencia at Mestalla with coach Diego Simeone labelling it the “weakest” efficiency throughout his time on the membership.
Barcelona’s five-star show was impressed by Felix, who netted the opener, with additional targets from Robert Lewandowski, Ferran Torres and Raphinha and Cancelo.
The emphatic victory locations the Catalans provisionally prime of the desk, some extent away from rivals Actual Madrid who host Actual Sociedad on Sunday.
Barcelona performed with a vibrancy they lacked at occasions final season, whilst they lifted La Liga, warming up for his or her Champions League opener on Tuesday in opposition to Royal Antwerp.
Xavi handed Felix and compatriot Cancelo their first begins for the membership they usually shortly impressed house followers and their coach.
Barcelona’s striker Joao Felix (C) jubilates along with his teammates after scoring the 1-0 purpose in the course of the LaLiga match in opposition to Actual Betis on the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 16, 2023. (EPA Picture)
“We’re speaking about two gamers there are completely no doubts about when it comes to particular person high quality,” Xavi advised reporters.
“The 2 deliver one thing completely different that improves the crew. Particular person high quality is what makes the distinction.”
Betis, lining up with a again 4 composed solely of former Barcelona gamers, performed with attacking intent, in contrast to many different groups who will go to the non permanent Olympic Stadium house of the Spanish champions.
Nonetheless, Barcelona moved forward after 25 minutes when Oriol Romeu fed Felix.
The on-loan Atletico ahead managed the ball, knocked it previous goalkeeper Rui Silva after which squeezed house clinically from a decent angle.
“I am very glad to be beginning once more, the sentiments are superb – it is simple to play on this crew,” Felix advised Movistar.
Felix, signed by Atletico Madrid for a membership report price of 126 million euros ($134 million) in 2019, failed to search out constant type within the capital and was loaned to Chelsea final season.
“I’m glad, the change has finished me good, me and my household, I’m very glad right here,” he added.
Lewandowski doubled Barcelona’s lead when he ran onto Andreas Christensen’s go and slotted house, however the purpose was crafted by Felix, whose intelligent dummy allowed the ball to search out the Polish striker.
The ‘shark’ bites
Torres, chosen forward of sweet sixteen starlet Lamine Yamal, netted the third, with a low free-kick across the wall – the primary Barcelona have scored since a Lionel Messi strike in Could 2021.
The winger, who has nicknamed himself a “shark” because the summer season after engaged on psychological elements of the sport and discovering his greatest stage of health, celebrated effusively.
“I did not know we hadn’t scored a free-kick since Messi,” stated Torres.
“I’ve a whole lot of confidence, I’m engaged on it and I will hold doing that.”
Raphinha, who changed Torres, shortly added the fourth simply moments after getting into the fray with a drilled effort from outdoors the world into the underside nook.
Cancelo gleefully added the fifth to cap a wonderful particular person show, skinning former Barcelona left-back Juan Miranda and driving house throughout purpose.
Whether or not new-look Barcelona can match Europe’s greatest stays to be seen however this rampant show highlighted the improved attacking high quality at their disposal this season.
Atletico coach Simeone stated his crew put of their “weakest” efficiency of his 12-year reign of their three-goal thrashing by Valencia.
Hugo Duro netted a brace for the hosts and Javi Guerra tucked house the third as they dominated.
Los Che have began the season nicely after flirting with relegation till the ultimate day of the earlier marketing campaign, and this was their most interesting outing but beneath coach Ruben Baraja.
“We had the weakest recreation since I arrived on the membership, and we now have to congratulate our opponents,” stated Simeone.
Defeat was the worst approach for Atletico to organize for the beginning of their Champions League marketing campaign on Tuesday at Lazio.
“They got here into the sport with much more depth and if you happen to do not match it … it is unimaginable to win any recreation,” stated Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
“We now have to look within the mirror. We all know we may give much more than we gave at present.”
Earlier Athletic Bilbao earned a convincing 3-0 win over Cadiz to maneuver provisionally third.
Mallorca earned a late 1-0 win over Celta Vigo by way of Vedat Muriqi’s purpose.