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Barca beat Ajax to prepare for ‘Clasico’ in grand style

Barca beat Ajax to prepare for ‘Clasico’ in grand style
Neymar, Lionel Messi and young forward Sandro Ramirez scored the goals in a game Barca controlled but almost let slip with some careless defending in the closing minutes Tuesday night, reports Xinhua.

With the ‘Clasico’ looming, Barca wanted to assure the result as soon as possible and opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Neymar netted his 10th goal of the campaign after a typical Barca move including Pedro, Iniesta and Messi, who passed the ball to the Brazilian to score with a shot across the face of the goal.

Iniesta was also involved in the second goal, which came after 24 minutes. The Spain international passed to Messi, whose shot was partially blocked by Ajax keeper, Jasper Cillessen, but still bounced over the line almost in slow motion. Had Pedro’s shot after 29 minutes gone into the net rather than bounce back off the post it would have been game over, but it bounced back off the woodwork to keep the game alive.

To their credit Ajax continued trying to play the passing game which has brought them so much success through the years, but the Dutch side were not rewarded with clear cut chances. As a result the second half was a slightly dull affair as Barca looked to reserve their strength for next Saturday’s trip to face Real Madrid. Indeed Messi was substituted with over 20 minutes remaining to rest his legs, but the Catalans suffered a shock in the 88th minute when El Ghazi reacted faster than the Barca defence to pick up a rebound and give his side a glimmer of hope.

That hope was wiped out in the last minute of the game as Barca substitute Sandro Ramirez produced a smart finish to a break to score Barca’s third of the game and assure the win.
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