New Delhi: Arsenal ended their pre-season of the United States tour on a high note as they defeated Barcelona 5-3 in a gutsy friendly at the SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles.
Barcelona get first breakthrough
Saka missed the penalty, giving the Gunners (whose owner Kroenke Sports Enterprise also counts the Los Angeles Rams among their sports teams) the lead they deserved, but instead Barça scored Raphinha’s deflected free-kick to Aaron Ramsdale.
Arsenal show great match possession
The Gunners showed great speed and were impressive in possession and the Blaugrana had a lot of problems with Arsenal’s press during the half. But the Catalans somehow went ahead thanks in large part to the brilliant solo work of Ez Abde. Abde got the ball in his own half and carried it up the other end before finding Raphinha who made a brilliant save.
First half recap
Aaron Ramsdale, who provided an easy pass to Robert Lewandowski to gave Barca the lead. Arsenal quickly responded with a goal from Bukayo Saka after a bad foul by Andreas Christensen, and Saka had a golden opportunity to double Ronald Araujo’s hand inside the penalty area, but missed.
After a frantic opening 20 minutes, the game lost momentum on both sides with a lot of physical play that caused many fouls, with very low quality on both sides. Barca then scored again thanks to a bit of luck when Raphinha’s free-kick hit Martin Odegaard’s net and then game came alive again.
Arsenal again played their best football and attacked with quality and determination to score the second equaliser when Odegaard’s header found Kai Havertz alone to score. The fun and physical game was even at half-time and many changes were expected from the Barça side at the break.
Second half recap
Arsenal’s boss Mikel Arteta made just one change in the team while, Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez changed the whole team. Xavi mainly focused on the fitness of the players and gave everyone chance to play.
The second half Barca was solid in possession and did good job and outclassed Arsenal. Blaugrana were the strong side most of the time and could have leveled when Fati found Ousmane Dembele in a great position in the box, but the Frenchman hit the post and missed a big chance. A few minutes later, Trossard scored the second goal of the night from a counter-attack to ensure Arsenal’s victory.