Barcelona ran out comfortable 3-0 win winners against Roma yesterday after what was an eventful night in Catalonia.
Lionel Messi returned to the squad following a lay-off from the Copa America, and done so by beginning as he had finished last season.
His delicious ball in the 26th minute found Andres Iniesta at the back post and eventually Neymar, who rounded Wojciech Szczesny and slotted home.
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It had been a pretty poor pre-season for Barcelona in the build up to their clash with the Italian giants having won just once in four matches, however the return of Messi and Neymar appeared to spark them into life.
The match soon turned sour, though, as Roma’s new signing Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa appeared to deliberately elbow Messi eight minutes later, with the 27-year-old clearly aggrieved when he confronted the defender.
Yanga-Mbiwa appeared to lean into the Barcelona star who proceeded to headbutt the defender and grab him by the throat.
In truth the pair should have both seen red for the exchange, particularly Messi who took the Frenchman by the throat, however the uncompetitive nature of the game may have swung in their favour.
Luis Suarez helped doubled the scoring just before half time when the Uruguayan skipped past Vasilis Torosidis before offloading the ball to Dani Alves, who in turn fed Neymar before finding its way to Messi on the edge of the box, the Argentine firing past Szczesny.
The fiery temperament of the game continued and soon saw both Neymar and Jordi Alba nursing injuries off the pitch during the second half, something that may concern Luis Enrique ahead of the season opener against Sevilla next Tuesday in the Super Cup.
The night was finished off in style as Ivan Rakitic lashed the ball from 30-yards out into the top-left corner with 25 minutes remaining, with Szczesny helpless.
Despite the heated match, which also saw Alessandro Florenzi and Radja Nainggolan also booked, Messi and Francesco Totti still found time to send social media into over drive with a Instagram post of themselves.