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Arsenal can lay down a marker

Arsenal
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Barca ease past Dinamo Bucharest

Barcelona continued their pre-season preparations with a 2-0 win over Dinamo Bucharest at the Arena Nationala with goals from Lionel Messi and Ibrahim Afellay.

The Catalan side were ahead inside five minutes as Messi, who scored 74 in 66 games last year and has bagged five already in the warm-up games this summer, turned away from Dinamo defender Dragos Grigore and smashed the ball into the net from just inside the area.

Barca continued their dominance and restricted Dinamo to only a few chances, with Marius Alexe coming the closest to troubling Victor Valdes, while Messi and Alexis Sanchez both missed good chances to extend the lead.

After the half-time break, new coach Tito Vilanova brought on a host of changes and Marius Tucudean almost equalised as his header was tipped over by Valdes. Andres Iniesta made an instant impression as he chipped the ball onto the roof of Kristijan Naumovski's net but it was left to Afellay to make the final mark as he lobbed a late goal to make it 2-0.

Barcelona will be boosted by the sight of David Villa, who returned to action for the first time since breaking his leg in the Club World Cup semi-final against Al Sadd in December. Their first match of the new La Liga season is on August 19, when they host Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp.

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