Barça stuck to their footballing principals under new coach Luis Enrique with six academy players in the starting line-up, including 18-year-old twinkle toes Munir El Haddadi.
The youngster worked upfront alongside team star Lionel Messi and three minutes before half-time the Argentinian maestro netted Barça’s first with a trademark left-footed finish.
Munir added an impressive goal in his senior debut just after half-time before Messi scored again to make it 3-0 for Barça.
All’s well that ends well, one might argue, but the appearance of a black cat onto the pitch (see video here) just 30 seconds into the game sent a shiver down every superstitious Barça fan’s spine.
Security personnel and players, mainly Barça defender Javier Mascherano, chased after the feline as the referee stopped play for nearly three minutes.
How the cat got into the Camp Nou stadium no one knows, although it may well have been the work of a crafty joker who hoped to remind fans and players of the unusually unlucky year the team is having.
Apart from last season’s arguable failures, having not won any major national and international trophy, Barça’s problems off the field have badly affected the morale of club, fans and players.
These include Messi’s ongoing tax fraud charges, corruption cases against previous and current club presidents and, last but not least, Fifa’s recent two transfer period-ban on the team for allegedly breaching rules on the registration of minors.
Many would argue that Barça’s top signing this summer, the amazing yet unpredictable Luis Suárez, could well upset the humble philosophy of play that has won the Catalan club fans all around the world.
Barça will have to wait and see if the feline pitch invader is an ominous reminder of the club’s apparent fall from grace or whether it was just a Real Madrid supporter pulling their leg.