Barcelona cruise past Guangzhou

A Luis Suarez hat-trick secured a comfortable 3-0 win for Barcelona over Guangzhou Evergrande at the Nissan Stadium in the Club World Cup semi-final on Thursday.

Barcelona 3 Guangzhou 0
Tigers park the bus
Catalans dominate possession
Suarez bags hat-trick
Barcelona advance with ease

Match Summary

From the opening whistle it was clear there was only one side in with a shout of winning the match as Guangzhou head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari set his side up in a very defensive pattern.

Suarez eventually broke the deadlock from close range in the 39th minute and the La Liga giants never looked back, with the Uruguayan striker adding a second in the 50th minute.

He completed his hat-trick in the 67th minute after Munir El Haddadi was brought down in the box and Suarez converted from the spot to secure the Catalan's place in the final.

Full Report

Barcelona took control of the match early on, dominating possession as Guangzhou looked to protect their goal and pounce on any counter attack opportunities.

However, the Spanish club gave them very little and the vast majority of game was spent with Barcelona passing the ball around inside the Southern China Tigers' half looking for an opening.

The Chinese club were very well organised however, and it wasn't until the 23rd minute of the game that their Spanish opponents were able to create a meaningful chance when Andres Iniesta thread a lovely through-ball to put Munir one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the youngster was unable to convert.

Ten minutes later, Munir came close once more, again linking up with Iniesta, this time in the air from a pin-point cross, but sent his header wide of the post.

It wasn't until the 41st minute that Guangzhou were able to register a shot on target as Elkeson rose well to turn an accurate cross goalwards, but Claudio Bravo was on hand to deny the Brazilian.

At the start of the second half, Barcelona boasted 72% of the possession and things did not get much better for their Chinese opponents.

Less than five minutes into the second period, the match was effectively over as a contest. Once again it was Iniesta pulling the strings in midfield to provide a sublime pass for Suarez, who gathered the ball and smashed it into the top corner to double Barcelona's lead.

It was no surprise that the Uruguayan was entrusted with the penalty after Munir was brought down in the box in the 67th minute, and even less of a shock that Suarez finished with consumate ease to complete his hat-trick and the rout for the Catalans, who strolled into the final of the Club World Cup.