FC Barcelona vs Guangzhou evergrande FC : full highlights
Luis Suarez scored an amazing hat-trick, including an undeniably exquisite second goal, as Barcelona almost strolled into the Club World Cup final with a confident 3-0 win over the Asian champions Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday.
Guangzhou managed to give the European champions a couple of tensed moments in the first half but unfortunately the Chinese side were utterly outclassed and outplayed by the end of a match that often ended up resembling an attack-versus-defence thorough training session at the end of the day.
Zou Zheng also suffered a terrible injury in the first half, visibly appearing to break his leg as he fell rather awkwardly adding more to the clear distress of his team mates.
Even without the presence of Lionel Messi, who was taken ill mere hours before the game, and of course, the injured Neymar, Barca enjoyed more than 70 percent of ball possession as they claimed a optimistic place in the final against the South American champions River Plate.
It was Guangzhou’s very first defeat under Brazilian coach Luiz Felipe Scolari‘s regime who took over in June.
Barca needed 39 minutes to break down the Chinese defence, Suarez pouncing to kick in the rebound after goalkeeper Li Shaui failed to grab Ivan Rakitic’s long-range drive.
The Catalans although had a lucky escape just before that when the Brazilian Elkesen just failed to make a contact with Zheng Zhi’s cross.
Javier Mascherano also two times made last-ditch tackles to prevent Guangzhou team having a clear run towards the goal, firstly on Ricardo Goulart and then Zheng Zhi, whereas Claudio Bravo made his only save just before the halftime mark to tip away Elkesen’s header.
The game was practically settled as a contest after 49 minutes as Andres Iniesta sent a beautiful pass into the area and Suarez received it on his chest before volleying it past Li in one fluid movement.
The Uruguayan completed his impressive hat-trick by converting a penalty in the 67th minute.