Two times, we overcame deficits to secure a victory and round off our summer US tour.
Robert Lewandowski gave Barcelona an early lead at Los Angeles’ spectacular, sold-out Sophie Stadium before Bukayo Saka equalised. In a dramatic first half, Saka missed a penalty before the Spaniards took the lead with a Rafinha free-kick.
Before halftime, Kai Havertz was perfectly positioned at the far post to curl Martin Odegaard’s header to restore parity, and Leandro Trossard gave us the lead with a well-deserved goal from inside the box. Trossard scored his second goal, finishing Kieran Tierney’s cross, after Ferran Torres gave Barcelona a chance to get back in the game.
However, Fabio Vieira’s superb last minute goal ensured that the final score had the shine it deserved.
We made a strong start at the beautiful Sophie Stadium after a delayed kickoff, but Barcelona scored first in the opening attack of the match. Rafinha’s initial attempt at a save by Aaron Ramsdale was successful, but the rebound fell wide for Robert Lewandowski to score.
Only five minutes passed in the lead. When Ben White attempted to cross the ball into the box but it was cut in, Saka took advantage of the opportunity, snatched the ball from Andreas Christensen, and finished expertly inside the near post.
Barcelona was facing the challenges of breaking our flow, so we continued playing there.
However, Gabriel was in a Jesus mood, and he created a wonderful opportunity for himself with some clever dancing inside the box. While passing, he decided
Havertz on target
Now that we were in control we should have continued. Leandro Trossard’s strike hit a Barcelona player in the box, earning us a penalty, but Saka pulled his conversion effort clear of the crossbar.
Barcelona corrected the mistake by taking the lead at the end of the half. He was awarded a dubious free kick in the wide area, and Rafinha’s effort hit the wall, causing Ramsdale to panic as the ball curled inside the far post.
The La Liga side stuck to their offensive strategy and Araújo eventually recorded a reckless challenge on Jesus.
We equalized in the right way once again and Saka was once again a factor. He dodged Marcos Alonso, then beat him to the byline where he fired a cross at the far post.
Trossard at the double
At halftime, Barcelona substituted all 11 players, while Mikel Arteta substituted Emile Smith Rowe for Havertz, and we continued to control the game. Jesus’ raised pass set up Saka, who volleyed over from close range.
Finally, the desired outcome materialised. Jesus expertly chested down a steep pass onto Trossard’s route. He advanced with the ball before firing a low left-footed shot from just inside the box.We attempted to take advantage of our position of strength when Smith Rowe blasted a shot goalward, which Inaki Pena deflected.Ousmane Dembele, who had entered the box from the other end, had hit the post, but Trossard’s second goal put an end to the contest.
After the game, the players immediately flew to London, and their next match is against Monaco at home in the Emirates Cup at 6pm on Wednesday. (UK time).
This will be followed by a Community Shield match against Manchester City at Wembley, while the Premier League season begins next weekend at home against Nottingham Forest.