Serie A - Dzemaili strike sees Napoli beat Barcelona

Blerim Dzemaili’s screamer gave Napoli a 1-0 victory over Barcelona in a pre-season friendly.

Serie A - Dzemaili strike sees Napoli beat Barcelona

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2014, Blerim Dzemaili, Dries Mertens, AFP

This pre-season test was hosted by Geneva in Switzerland, but Leo Messi and Javier Mascherano were left at home with Gonzalo Higuain surprisingly on the bench.

Claudio Bravo made his debut in goal for the Blaugrana after a €12m (9.5m) move from Real Sociedad and made some decisive saves first from a Marek Hamsik header and then rushing off his line to block at the feet of Jose Callejon.

Duvan Zapata and Lorenzo Insigne just failed to get on the end of impressive crosses with only the goalkeeper to beat, the young Italian in particular wasting a golden opportunity by not connecting.

Rafael also had to work for Napoli, making himself big to charge down two Munir attempts.

Ex-Swansea striker Michu came on at half-time, but it was Pedro who fired inches wide after a mistake from Giandomenico Mesto.

The deadlock was eventually broken with 11 minutes to go, as Bravo got his hands to a Dzemaili trademark effort from distance, but couldn’t keep it out of the net.

Rafael kept up his form with a fine save from Gerard Deulofeu's solo effort to ensure Napoli came away with a prestigious pre-season victory.

Barcelona 0-1 Napoli

Scorers: Dzemaili 79 (N)

Barcelona: Bravo, Montoya, Piqué (Le 59), Bartra (Deulofeu 74), Jordi Alba (Grimaldo 59), Sergio Busquets (Samper 59), Rakitic (Halilovic 59), Iniesta (Roberto 59), Rafinha (Adama 74), Munir (Sandro 59), Pedro (Bagnack 74)

Napoli: Rafael; Maggio (Mesto 46), Albiol (Luperto 84), Koulibaly, Britos (Ghoulam 46); Jorginho (Inler 59), Gargano (Dzemaili 71); Callejon (Vargas 71), Hamsik (Zuniga 71), Insigne (Mertens 59); Duvan Zapata (Michu 46)

Read the original article on Football Italia - The ultimate website for English-speaking fans of Italian football

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