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Samp hold their heads high against Barcelona, Gamper Trophy ends 3-2 to the hosts


Samp hold their heads high against Barcelona, Gamper Trophy ends 3-2 to the hosts

Marco Giampaolo’s Sampdoria put in a tremendous performance against the mighty Barcelona and return home to Italy full of credit, despite narrowly losing 3-2 in the Gamper Trophy.

Lionel Messi and Co. started on the front foot and had the Blucerchiati rearguard sweating straight from the off. The Catalans fired two warning shots before Luis Suarez headed home an overhead assist from Messi after a quarter of an hour. The Argentine took centre-stage next: after controlling Ivan Rakitic’s chipped pass, he rounded Emiliano Viviano and passed into an empty net in the 21st minute.

It looked to have been the knockout blow but the Blucerchiati weren’t ready to give up just yet. Just two minutes later, Karol Linetty won the ball high up the pitch and gave to Fabio Quagliarella, who spotted Luis Muriel’s third-man run and played it right into his path, leaving the Colombian to slot home a fantastic passing move.

Barca were then awarded a free kick on the half-hour mark and Messi stepped up to whip a tremendous strike past Viviano’s outstretched fingers.

Half-time heralded a raft of changes as both sides looked to share playing time among their squads. One of the new faces was Ante Budimir, who in the 78th minute showed ice-cold nerves to slip Javier Mascherano’s clutches, control the ball on his chest and smash it past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The scoreline hadn’t changed come the final whistle and, despite the loss, it was the perfect way to cap off pre-season. The season begins in earnest on Sunday with the Coppa Italia tie against Bassano Virtus.

Barcelona 3-2 Sampdoria (HT: 3-1)

Scorers: L. Suarez 16, Messi 21 and 34, Muriel 23, Budimir 78.

Barcelona (4-3-3): Bravo (Masip 32, ter Stegen 62); S. Roberto (A. Vidal 45), Piqué (Umtiti 62), Mathieu (Mascherano 32), Digne (Camara 62); Rakitic (D. Suárez 62), Busquets (Samper 76), Iniesta (A. Gomes 62); Messi (Munir 76), L. Suárez, Turan.
Subs: Douglas, Jordi Alba.
Coach: Luis Enrique.

Sampdoria (4-3-1-2): Viviano (Puggioni 77); De Silvestri (Pereira 71), Silvestre, Castán (Skriniar 45), Regini; Eramo (Barreto 45), Torreira (Palombo 35, Ivan 82), Linetty (Cigarini 71); Schick (Alvarez 45); Muriel (Budimir 45), Quagliarella (Djuricic 71).
Subs: Tozzo, Campana.
Coach: Marco Giampaolo.

Additional time: 2+3 minutes.

Yellow cards: Regini 47.

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