Messi comes close as Barcelona beats Beijing 3-0

Lionel Messi impressed without scoring as Barcelona beat Chinese Super League champions Beijing Guoan 3-0 in an exhibition match.

Messi’s header struck the bar in the 28th minute on Sunday at Beijing’s National Stadium, which hosted the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Argentina star, who played the first half, also hit the post in the 39th with a free kick.

Sergi Roberto opened the scoring in the 10th and Nolito made it 2-0 two minutes later with a confident volley.

Barcelona scored again in the 89th through substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Shots from Beijing’s Walter Martinez and Ryan Griffiths were turned wide by Barcelona goalkeeper Jose Manuel Pinto.

Barcelona played without Spanish World Cup winners Andres Iniesta, Xavi Hernandez, David Villa and Carles Puyol.