Two-goal Perez powers Barcelona past Vissel Kobe

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Young winger Carles Perez struck a second-half brace to give Barcelona a 2-0 victory over Vissel Kobe in a low-key friendly in Japan on Saturday.

The Spanish champions toiled for nearly an hour before substitute Perez made the breakthrough following a neat exchange of passes with Malcom.

His second followed four minutes from the end, the 21-year-old clinically firing into the bottom right corner off his left foot.

Ernesto Valverde started Antoine Griezmann, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic but saved Frenkie de Jong, who debuted in the 2-1 loss to Chelsea earlier in the week, until the second 45 minutes.

De Jong's half-time introduction denied him the chance to go head-to-head with Blaugrana great Andres Iniesta, one of three former Barca players involved in the J.League side's matchday squad.

Iniesta, 35, managed to test Marc-Andre ter Stegen five minutes before the interval in a rare moment of defensive concern in what was otherwise a comfortable outing for LaLiga's champions.

Riqui Puig and Croatia international Rakitic threatened either side of Iniesta's shot but it was not until Perez arrived that Valverde's men were able to break the deadlock.

Barca, who before the match announced the beginning of formal partnership with Vissel Kobe, next face Premier League side Arsenal on August 4.