Arsenal defeated Barcelona

Arsenal defeated Barcelona

California’s INGLEWOOD – At SoFi Stadium, Arsenal defeated Barcelona in a competitive friendly match to round off their preseason tour of the United States, winning 5-3. In a first half that included numerous hard collisions, Bukayo Saka equalized after Robert Lewandowski had given the La Liga team the lead in the seventh minute. The Gunners, whose owners, Kroenke Sports Enterprises, also own the Los Angeles Rams, would have had a lead after Saka’s missed penalties, but Barca struck next when Raphinha’s deflected free-kick beat Aaron Ramsdale.

Kai Havertz scored from close range before Leandro Trossard, who performed admirably the entire time, scored again to give Arsenal a 4-2 lead. Fabio Vieira completed a victory Mikel Arteta’s team deserved for their whole performance in front of 70,223 spectators despite Ferran Torres’ response for Barcelona.
Declan Rice, a midfielder, was sidelined as a preventative measure due to a slight calf injury, while fellow newcomer Jurrien Timber began at left-back with Ben White on the other flank and Kai Havertz in the center of the field.
The atmosphere of a preseason friendly quickly vanished as Barcelona started Pedri, Lewandowski, and newly acquired Ilkay Gundogan. Within the first five minutes, defender Ronald Araujo launched two strong tackles on Gabriel Jesus.

Despite having a stronger opening, Arsenal went behind after seven minutes when Martin Odegaard lost control and Abde Ezzalzouli broke quickly. Raphinha then scored from close range after receiving the cross from Ezzalzouli. The former Leeds winger was denied by a fantastic stop from Gunners goalkeeper Ramsdale, but Lewandowski was there to complete a straightforward finish.
Six minutes later, the Gunners equalized when Saka capitalized on Andreas Christensen’s errant touch in the box to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
After Araujo handled the ball in the box, Saka had a chance to put Arsenal ahead, but he pulled his penalty beyond of ter Stegen’s left-hand post.
After a third late tackle, this one on Havertz, Araujo was eventually given a warning, but Arsenal persisted and, thanks to some sterling effort from Saka, equalized two minutes before halftime.

His right-wing cross reached Odegaard, and the international player for Norway headed a shot goalward that Havertz stabbed.
At halftime, Arsenal replaced Havertz with Emile Smith Rowe, but Barcelona made a major lineup change, bringing on Ousmane Dembele, Frenkie de Jong, and Ansu Fati in a new 11.
But Saka remained at the center of the action, side-footing over six minutes after the restart when Jesus discovered him inside the box unmarked.
Despite all of Arsenal’s deft passing and notable regular positional switching, it was a route one move that handed them the advantage.
Jesus received it from Ramsdale, but Trossard was the only recipient of Eric Garcia’s diving header from Barca. The former Brighton attacker moved the ball to his left foot and fired a low shot that went past goalkeeper Inaki Pena and into the far corner of the net.

With 15 minutes remaining, Dembele hit the post as Barcelona attempted to draw even, but Arsenal scored only two minutes later when replacement Kieran Tierney crossed for Trossard to score with a brilliant first-time effort.
Alejandro Balde still had time to hit the post for Barcelona before Torres sidefooted home following a slip-up by substitute Rob Holding, but Vieira emerged victorious with a wonderful curling effort from the edge of the box.

Next week, Arsenal will host Monaco in the Emirates Cup, and on Saturday, Xavi Hernandez’s team will play Real Madrid in Texas in an effort to avenge a loss.

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