FC Barcelona enjoyed a pre-season victory against Stuttgart at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Saturday. New signing Memphis Depay, along with Yusuf Demir and Riqui Puig, all scored in the Catalan club's 3-0 victory against the hosts. However, it was Antoine Griezmann's two assists that caught a lot of attention.
The Blaugrana are in Germany on a pre-season tour, and many are surprised that Griezmann is with the club despite the fact that they have actively been finding a way to ship him out to another club this summer.
Meanwhile, newly-signed Dutchman Memphis Depay impressed his new employers by opening up the scoreboard in the 21st minute. He latched on to a precise chip from compatriot Frenkie de Jong to score his first Barcelona goal. Stuttgart goalkeeper Fabian Bredlow could do nothing to stop the ball from finding the back of the net.
Memphis then linked up with Griezmann for the Blaugrana's second goal. He fed Griezmann, who is suspected to be offside, before the Frenchman crossed to a waiting Yusuf Demir who did not hesitate to drill it into the goal.
Barcelona were 2-0 ahead going into the half time break, with the hosts barely able to make a challenge.
The second half started slow, but Ronald Koeman's substitutes brought the squad back to life. Riqui Puig was very aggressive up front, forcing several saves from the Stuttgart keeper. Griezmann then helped him out to manufacture the final goal with another brilliant assist.
Bredlow was forced to save another Barcelona attempt courtesy of Miralem Pjanic, another player who is believed to be bound for an exit this summer. The match ended 3-0 in favour of Barcelona, and it was a match that showed the club what they will be missing if they successfully offload the likes of Griezmann and Pjanic.
On the other hand, they were also left without Lionel Messi, who is still currently a free agent after the club's failure to ratify his contract extension until now. With just two weeks before the start of La Liga, they are still struggling to offload players. In effect, they may be unable to slash their wage bill enough to re-sign Messi before September 1.