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Monday 5 December 2016

Old pals act: Suarez and Gerrard meet up as Barcelona beat LA Galaxy in friendly

Los Angeles Galaxy's Steven Gerrard, right, of England, hugs former teammate FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez before an International Champions Cup soccer match at Rose Bowl, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. The two played for English club Liverpool FC. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Los Angeles Galaxy's Steven Gerrard, right, of England, hugs former teammate FC Barcelona's Luis Suarez before an International Champions Cup soccer match at Rose Bowl, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Pasadena, Calif. The two played for English club Liverpool FC. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was pleased they got straight back into their stride with Tuesday's 2-1 friendly win over the Los Angeles Galaxy but saw plenty of room for improvement before the season begins next month.

Uruguay striker Luis Suarez and Spanish midfielder Sergi Roberto struck either side of halftime at a packed Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena in the Spanish and European champions' opening match of their pre-season tour.

"Considering it was the first pre-season game, after seven days of training with some double sessions, I have good feelings," Luis Enrique told a news conference after the International Champions Cup clash.

"I liked the team a lot because we played with intensity and we did not make any serious errors but we can still improve in everything," added the former Barca and Spain midfielder.

READ MORE: Suarez: I'll hit the ground running with Barcelona after bite ban marred last season's start

"Without doubt, we are going to be the team to beat and we have to keep improving every aspect of our play. We did things well today but we have to do it again and better. And we are working on that."

Luis Enrique and his LA Galaxy counterpart Bruce Arena made a host of changes at halftime to give some of their younger players a chance to impress, with Tommy Meyer scoring late on for the Galaxy.

The Barca coach admitted his knowledge of the MLS was patchy but said it was clear the quality of soccer in the United States was improving.

"A lot of European players are coming with the idea of contributing and I liked what I saw here," he said.

"Teams that play us usually sit back and defend and the Galaxy I think did some great defensive work which stopped us from creating many chances."

Barca's next Champions Cup game is against Manchester United in Santa Clara on Saturday and they play Chelsea in Landover on July 28 before returning to Europe to take on Serie A club Fiorentina in Florence on Aug. 2.

Their first official match of the 2015-16 season is the European Super Cup against Europa League winners and La Liga rivals Sevilla on Aug. 11.

They then play Athletic Bilbao over two legs for the Spanish Super Cup before starting their bid for a sixth La Liga title in eight years against the Basque club on the Aug. 22-23 weekend.

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