1-0, Eto'o, min. 1
2-0, Eto'o, min. 27
3-0, Messi, min. 37
Six goals in two matches. FC Barcelona picked up their second win of the campaign with a 3-0 triumph over Osasuna. Samuel Eto'o starred in an emphatic victory as the visitors were swept aside by a rampant Barca side in true champions form.
Barca dominated from the off in a one-sided first half. The pace and power of Eto'o, coupled with the cunning and finesse of Ronaldinho and Messi effectively killed the game off early on. With Thuram giving a near-perfect performance, the absent Puyol wasn't missed and Frank Rijkaard's team will be brimming with confidence ahead of Tuesday's clash with Levski Sofia.
Frank Rijkaard surprised everyone by resting captain Carles Puyol and installing Lilian Thuram at the heart of the defence. With the equally formidable Rafa Marquez alongside him, the Frenchman had a fantastic debut and, with Edmílson providing midfield steel in front of the back four, Barca were rarely troubled defensively. Xavi also made his first start of the season having been a substitute at the Balaídos.
Off to a flyer
Barca got off to the perfect start. With barely 90 seconds on the clock, Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring, rounding off a stunning team goal. Ronaldinho combined well with Deco inside the penalty area before presenting the ball on a plate to the Cameroonian striker who slotted home passed Ricardo. The dummy run of Sylvinho was crucial in helping pull the defence apart and the Brazilian full-back was at his marauding best in the first half. Eto'o on fire 20 minutes in and Frank Rijkaard's side moved up a gear once again. In the 21st minute, Samuel Eto'o almost finished a fine move from Leo Messi and six minutes later he was on hand to bag his and Barça's second of the night. Deco's arrowed pass forced the error which the Barca number 9 was quickest to react to and his lofted finish over the stranded Ricardo was sublime.
The African striker wasn't finished there. Eto'o's work rate was phenomenal and in the 37th minute, goalscorer turned provider as he set up Leo Messi, who coolly nutmegged the goalkeeper to send the crowd into ecstasy. All 63,000 spectators rose to applaud the team as they walked off for half-time.
Messi hits the post
The second half was a lesson in control by FC Barcelona. With the game won, Barca kept Osasuna at arms length whilst still creating some magical football of their own. If the first half was all about Samuel Eto'o, the second was about new boy, Lilian Thuram. The French centre-back was a rock at the heart of the defence and, with Zambrotta and Marquez looking equally solid, the defensive performance was highly encouraging for the new season.
The best chance of the second half came in the 60th minute. Argentine wonderkid, Leo Messi, played a neat one-two with Xavi Hernández before racing into the area. As Ricardo bared down on him, the young winger slid the ball past him only for the right post to deny what would have been a delightful goal.
In the closing stages, Frank Rijkaard made the most of the opportunity to rest some tired legs and give some important minutes to other players. With one eye on the Sofia match, the Dutchman brought on Giuly and Iniesta for Deco and Ronaldinho as well as giving Oleguer a run out for Zambrotta later on.
After the excellent opening game victory over Celta Vigo, Barca play their first game at the Camp Nou. Manager Frank Rijkaard is boosted by the return of Ronaldinho to the first team squad.
This evening's game at the Camp Nou will be the first League match of the 2006-07 season. The stadium will be packed with fans hoping to witness as much success this time round as they have enjoyed over the last two seasons. Barca will be looking to continue their good start to the season against Osasuna, a team with a new manager, 'Cuco' Ziganda.
Ronaldinho returns: The biggest news ahead of the game is surely the return of the Brazilian superstar to Frank Rijkaard's first team squad. After missing the opening game through injury and the Catalan Cup final due to international commitments, he returns to action in a Barca top. His compatriot Sylvinho also returns and the two are the only new names in the list of players at the manager's disposal. Rijkaard had to leave out 4 players in total and this time round those that don't feature are Gio, Belletti, Ezquerro and Saviola. Finally, the evening at the Camp Nou will also include a tribute to club masseur Àngel Mur, who is retiring after 33 years service to the first team.
Osasuna: The team from Navarra are having a nightmare start to the season. Eliminated before the Champions League group stage by Hamburg, they were beaten at home by Getafe 2-0 in their first league fixture. Ziganda will be hoping for a reversal in fortunes, especially now that he has brought in Soldado from Real Madrid. Look out for Raul Garcia and Puñal, who provide midfield steel and a solid back four with goalkeeper Ricardo protecting their goal.
The history: Osasuna returned to the Primera División in the 2000-01 season after six seasons in the second tier of Spanish domestic football. Since their return to top flight action they have enjoyed their trips to the Camp Nou; in six games they have picked up two draws and a victory. More recently, in the last two championship winning seasons, FC Barcelona have run out comfortable victors - 3-0 on both occasions.