Deulofeu shines for Barcelona in Gamper Trophy match

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Barcelona, Aug 8 (IANS) The returning Gerard Deulofeu contributed a goal and two assists as FC Barcelona rolled over Brazil’s Chapecoense 5-0 to win the Joan Gamper football Trophy here.

Played annually in honour of Barça’s Swiss-born founder, the Gamper match marks the end of the pre-season for the Catalan club on Monday, reports Efe.

This year, however, the theme of the night at Camp Nou was paying tribute to Chapecoense, a Brazilian club of humble origins which suffered the loss of nearly all players in a November 2016 plane crash that resulted in 71 deaths.

The three players who survived the disaster — Alan Ruschel, Jackson Ragnan Follman and Helio Hermito Neto — took part in an honorary kickoff.

Ruschel, wearing the captain’s armband, played 36 minutes of the first half.

Struggling to maintain their first-division status in Brazil, the visitors were no match for mighty Barcelona, but Chapecoense goalkeeper Elias distinguished himself with multiple stops against super-strikers Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

Deulofeu, a Barcelona academy product who is back with the organisation after four seasons spent with Everton, Sevilla and AC Milan, opened the scoring with a goal in the 6th minute before assisting on the subsequent goals by Sergio Busquets — in the 11th minute — and Messi, at the 28-minute mark.

Though still smarting from the sudden departure of Neymar, the Barça faithful could took heart from the energetic performance by Deulofeu, who was replaced by Denis Suarez at the start of the second half.

Luis Suarez scored 10 minutes after the restart, and Denis Suarez bagged the fifth goal in the 74th minute.

–IANS

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