29th July, 2018
It was a sweet start for F.C. Barcelona as it defeated Tottenham Hotspurs in its very first match of the new season. Even though this was more or less a friendly match, it was surely a beauty of a game to watch as the Barca youngsters and new signings showed signs of good things to come.
The first half in particular was simply breath-taking with the youngsters showing everyone watching how exciting the future is going to be.
It was simply a beauty to watch as the Barcelona starlets operating a 4-3-3 formation scored two wonderful goals that came as a result of solid high-pressing and effective passing in tight spaces typical of the Catalonian Soccer Giants.
It was difficult to notice that this team was without the senior superstars as they carried on as if this was the first team on the pitch. Of course, the new signings were thrown into the pack to give the team some experience and direction.
However, it was Arthur that stole the show among them as he took control of the game for his team, calming things down, demanding the ball at all times, making quick and smart decisions, all while delivering perfect passes time and time again.
Then came the goals naturally. The first one was scored by Munir El-Haddadi with a tap-in from close range after a wonderful combination football involving a string of players. The second goal was simply a beauty to see. It was a spectacular debut goal by the hard-working and effective Arthur who scored a beauty of an over-head kick.
The second half was somewhat different as the Barcelona Manager, Ernesto Valverde decided to field an entirely different team as he introduced nine Barça B players and new signing Malcom so as to be able to appraise their quality.
Tottenham Hotspurs naturally came into the picture better in the second half since they had more experienced first team players on the pitch with Christian Eriksen almost scoring from a free kick very early in the half and looking quite dangerous for the young Barca defence.
Their experience showed through as they scored two quick goals that came as a result of inexperienced defensive blunders on the part of the Barcelona youngsters. The first one was scrambled in from close range by Heung-Min Son while the second came from the boots of Geórges-Kevin Nkoudou.
With the game suddenly level in such a short time, nervousness crept into the Barca starlets and they almost allowed Spurs to wrap up the game but were able to hold on till the end of the game and head into the penalty kicks session where they came out tops.
The penalties ended 5-3 in favour of F.C. Barcelona as their players scored real good kicks and the goal-keeper, Jasper Cillessen saved one of Tottenham’s spot kicks.
The line-ups for both teams were as follows:
Barcelona: Cillessen; Semedo (Palencia), Marlon (Mingueza), Lenglet (Cuenca), Miranda (Cucurella); Arthur (Collado), Roberto (Monchu), Gomes (Puig); Rafinha (Malcom), Munir (Ruiz), Denis (Pérez (Ballou))
Goals: Munir (15’), Arthur (29’)
Tottenham: Gazzaniga (Vorm); Aurier, Carter-Vickers, Davies, Walker-Peters (Sánchez); Sissoko (Nkoudou), Amos, Eriksen; Lucas (Georgiou), Llorente (Skipp), Son
Goals: Son (73’), Nkoudou (75’)