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Carles Perez Brace Guides Barcelona Past Vissel Kobe, 2-0

Carles Perez of Barcelona v Vissel Kobe

KOBE, Japan, Sporting Alert — Carles Perez scored a second-half brace and Barcelona defeated Vissel Kobe 2-0 in the Rakuten Cup at The Noevir Stadium on Saturday in Japan.

The Vissel Kobe side featured former Barca captain and star playmaker Andres Iniesta. Ex-Blaugrana players David Villa and Sergi Samper also started for the home side.

After playing to a 0-0 scoreline in the first half, Barcelona took the lead in the 59th minute when Perez came off the bench to slot through goalkeeper Daiya Maekawa’s legs, following a nice play with Malcom.

Malcom came close to adding a second goal for the Spanish champions, but his effort sailed over the bar from close range.

However, Perez, a Barca’s B team winger, made it 2-0 with four minutes left in the game when he netted his second of the game to give the La Liga side its first pre-season win, following Tuesday’s 2-1 defeat to English Premier League side Chelsea.

Barcelona remains without several of its South American players, including star Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez, but new recruit Antoine Griezmann started for the second time.

Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic, Jordi Alba, Marc-André ter Stegen and Rafinha started as well, while Samuel Umtiti, Malcom, Ousmane Dembele and Frenkie De Jong were introduced in the second half.

Ernesto Valverde’s side will now tackle Premier League outfits Arsenal next weekend at Camp Nou in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

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