Carles Pérez brace bags Barça win over Iniesta's Vissel Kobe
Vissel Kobe-FC Barcelona (Rakuten Cup 2019)
Ernesto Valverde's men delivered a solid display against J-League side Vissel Kobe with two second half goals from Carles Perez.
The Japanese side featuring former Barça greats Andres Iniesta and David Villa plus Sergi Samper were outclassed by the LaLiga champions with a relegation battle more of a concern than the 2019 Rakuten Cup for Thorsten Fink's men.
Both teams made wholesale changes at the interval and Dembele and De Jong offered glimpses of what Barça fans can look forward to next season.
Next up for Vissel is a vital domestic game against Gamba Osaka as Barcelona face Arsenal at Camp Nou for the annual Trofeo Gamper.
That's all we have time for in Kobe as Barcelona see off the J-League outfit 0-2
Final second of the action in Kobe. The head and humidity have also sontrubuted to the slow tempo of the match.
Next up for the J-League side is a crucial domestic match against Gamba Osaka as they look to move away from the relegation zone
Vissel have been totally outclassed, especially in the second half tonight.
Malsolm, Dembele work the ball to De Jong who drives his ball just wide.
Into the final minute we go as Malcom almost bags the third goal of the night for Valverde's men
Fine left footed strike from the forward with a precision finish.
Barça forge looking to add to the one goal lead. Dembele has been excellent for the Catalan side with De Jong and Malcolm impressing.
What a run from Dembele as he makes a "Messi-esque" run from the half way line and breaks into the Vissel box and is just let down from a poor shot
Sergi Roberto has a shot after neat link-up play between Dembele and De Jong
Last 15' in Kobe. Barça still dominate as Malcolm strikes the bar
Barça's next game is the annual Trofeo Gamper pre-season at Camp Nou as they face Arsenal which also serves as a chance to present the new signings.
Aleña is through on goal and instead of placing, opts to chip the Vissel stopper but fails to get sufficient elevation and the ball is gathered easliy by Maekawa
Into the final 20' of the second half and the pace has dropped off once again
Osaki does well for Vissel with the sub. weaving into the box and just failing to get a shot on goal.
This is easier to follow who is playing for Barcelona.... a brand new team basically for Valverde
Still a flat atmosphere here in the Noevir Stadium... I wonder how it compares with a compettive J League match ?
Aleña goes close for Barcelona with this new fresh XI having a little more zest than the side in the first half
Sub (FCB) I. Rakitic F. de Jong
More Barça changes at the break - M. ter Stegen off - Neto on
Vissel break but Watanabe is crowded out and Barça clear the danger
Dembele goes close for Barcelona after fine play from Malcolm.... Second half much livelire !
Think that pretty much covers the changes... apologies if there are omissions ; )
Busquets off - C. Alena
N. Semedo iff - S. Roberto on
J. Alba off - G. Jaime on
R. Araujo off - J. Todibo on
More Barcelona changes: C. Lenglet off - S. Umtiti on
D. Miya off - on W. Hashimoto
A. Iniesta off - T. Yasui on
D. Villa off - Wellington on
Changes for Vissel - H. Yamaguchi off- on J. Tanaka
A. Griezmann off - O. Dembele
R. Puig off - Malcom on for FCB
Barça changes: A. Collado off /on C. Perez
S. Fujitani off - on D. Nishi (Kobe)
Plenty of changes as expected ...we'll bring them through but by bit but De Jong is on !
We're back underway in Japan... Barça start the action.
We can anticipate full scale changes from both Valverde and Fink at the break as is normally the case in these pre-season war up games.
That's the whistle calling time on the first period in Kobe. All square at the break.
Into the final minute of the half. The game yet to really come to life here in Kobe with Barcelona enjoying the bulk of possession. Rakitic has come close on a few occasions for the Catalan side with the best Vissel chance falling to Iniesta.
Alba feeds Griezmann but the French striker fails to get accuracy on the effort and fires high and wide
Rafinha, Rakitic and Busquets have been impressibe today for Barça
Vissel seem to have weathered the storm of dominance from the Catalan side and now appear more at ease on the ball.
Good work from Ogawa on the right hand side with the Vissel winger finding Iniesta who drives his shot low but fails to test Ter Stegen.
Rakitic with the free-kick but his effort is straight at Villa who is winded from the effort. The game needs a goal to lift the letargy in the crowd.
Yamaguchi carded for a foul on Collado
Ogawa breaks for Vissel and forces Ter Stegen to spring into action with the German leaving his area to clear the danger.
Rakitic goes close with a rasping right footed drive which is deflected for a corner
If ever a game had a 'pre-season feel' about it ....
Barcelona enjoying the bulk of possession in Kobe and as yet Ter Stegen has been a total spectator in the 30' of the game so far tonight
Barcelona well on top here in Kobe with little from the home side to date.
Delightful link up play from Villa and Iniesta finally draws a reaction from the crowd with a polite cheer for the intricate trickery.
The Croatian seems okay to continue and to be honest it appeared to be a fair tackle from Samper.
Foul by Samper with Rakitic sprawled on the ground following the challenge. The first physical tackle of the day ends with the Croatian on the ground needing medical assistance.
Excellent play from Barça with neat intricate play leading to a Semedo effort which Vissel manage to clear from danger. Barcelona appear to have a few more gears that they can click into should the need arise.
Puig misses a sitter. The young striker does well in controlling the ball but just pulls it wide of the Vissel goal.
Barça still without their South American stars with Messi, Arthur & Suarez still on holiday after their involvemet in the 2019 Copa America.
Very, very hushed atmosphere at the Noeivir Stadium.... Recent J-League games I've watched (Kawasaki Frontale, Red Diamonds & Kashima) have had excellent atmpshreres.
Question...Should Villa, Samper or Iniesta score tonight...will they celebrate?
Vissel enjoy some possession but give the ball away cheaply.
Very composed start from the men in yellow, slick passing and neat first touches from the visitors.
David Villa kicks off the 2019 Rakuten Cup in Kobe...
Griezmann sporting a slicked back look this morning as the player pose for the final pre-game photo
Iniesta and Villa still look trim and in excellent shape as the players line up for the pre-match photo session
Vissel struggling in the 2019 J-League at present and hover periously close to the relagation zone
Yudai Yamamoto (Japan) is our match official this morning
The players are in the tunnel posed to enter the Noevir stadium
This shirt ..one of the finest for the 2019-20 season !!!!
Just 5' ahead of kick-off in the Japanese city of Kobe. A packed house with plenty of Barça shirts visible in the crowd.
Yet another former Barça player set to join the J-League side
Barcelona to wear their new "retro inspired" away kit tonight
It's a hot and humid evening in Kobe with thunderstorms anticipated during the match. 87% humidity levels for the players and fans to contend with also.
A special game day for all Culés given that former Barça stars Andres Iniesta, David Villa and Sergi Samper play for the Japanese side.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the 2019 Rakuten Cup as J-League side Vissel Kobe face LaLiga champions FC Barcelona.