Barcelona kicked off their pre-season tour of the United States in style, beating Inter Miami 6-0 at the DRV PNK Stadium in Florida.
Barcelona dominated 66% of the possession and conceded just one shot – not even on target – to their MLS hosts, validating the growing optimism around the Catalan outfit’s 2022/23 season.
They took a three-goal lead inside the first half, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang opening the scoring in the 19th minute before debutant Raphinha doubled their advantage in the 25th. Ansu Fati made it 3-0 four minutes before the half-time whistle.
Ten minutes into the second half, Gavi had made it four. Memphis Depay and Ousmane Dembele then scored within a minute of each other – in the 69th and 70th minutes – to close out the rout.
Barcelona have three games left in their tour of the United States. They face Real Madrid in Las Vegas next before locking horns with Juventus and then New York Red Bulls. They’ll then return to Catalonia to face Pumas in the final of the Joan Gamper Trophy.
They’ll hope to continue in that vein of form heading into the serious business toward the middle of August and one of the most positive things for Barcelona is that Robert Lewandowski, the marquee signing of their summer, didn’t even feature in Florida.
“We have taken a leap forward in quality,” Oscar Hernandez, stepping in for his brother Xavi Hernandez, who’s still stuck in Spain, said after the game.
“In the world of football, everybody knows he is a top player. The sporting management and the coaching staff believed that we needed a world-class player and now we have him. We’re happy.
“The club have made a great effort and we’re satisfied, because in addition to his quality he’s a player who’s highly committed.”
Xavi, is still working to find a resolution to the issue that’s blocking him from travelling to the United States according to Mundo Deportivo. He’s travelled to Madrid and will visit the American embassy first thing this morning.
There, he hopes to finally obtain the visa that will enable him to join up with his players and staff in Miami by taking a direct flight from the Spanish capital. He should be in charge against Madrid.