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Barcelona vs Chelsea, Rakuten Cup: Final Score 1-2, Barca lose opening friendly

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The champions gave debuts to Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong


Barcelona were beaten 2-1 by Chelsea in their first pre-season friendly in Japan on Tuesday.

The game saw Ernesto Valverde hand debuts to new signings Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Neto, while youngsters Riqui Puig, Oriol Busquets, Alex Collado, Guillem Jaime and Carles Perez also featured.

Chelsea are a little bit further ahead in their pre-season preparations and it showed as they ran out 2-1 winners.

Tammy Abraham got the first after 34 minutes and Ross Barkley sealed it with nine minutes of normal time remaining. Ivan Rakitic pulled one back with a cracker in stoppage time


Barcelona started the game pretty brightly with Antoine Griezmann and Riqui Puig both looking lively for the Spanish champions.

Yet Chelsea had the better chances and should have scored midway through the first half when Abraham made a real mess of an opportunity after Pulisic’s shot had been blocked.

The opening goal arrived shortly afterwards. Jorginho pressed Busquets into an error and then got the ball to Abraham who kept his composure to finish.


Valverde made wholesale changes at the break to freshen things up and Barcelona again looked pretty good at the start of the half.

We got a glimpse of just what De Jong will bring to the team going forwards but conceded another goal when Barkley curled a shot past Neto.

Unsurprisingly Barca looked pretty tired in the closing stages but still scored the goal of the game in stoppage time.

Rakitic was the man to come up with the goods, hammering a rising strike that flew past Kepa and into the top corner.

Barcelona 1st half: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba, Busquets, O.Busquets, Riqui Puig, Collado, Griezmann, Dembelé.

Barcelona 2nd half: Neto, Semedo, Todibo, Lenglet, Guillem Jaime, De Jong, Rakitic, Aleñá, Malcom, Carles Pérez, Rafinha.

Goal: Rakitic (93’)

Chelsea: Kepa; Azpilicueta (Bakayoko), Christensen (Tomori), David Luiz, Emerson; Jorginho (Drinkwater), Kovacic; Pedro (Batshuayi), Mason Mount (Barkley), Pulisic (Giroud); Abraham.

Goals: Abraham (34’), Barkley (81’)