Barcelona have won the 2019 Joan Gamper Trophy thanks to a 2-1 win over Arsenal in the annual Camp Nou opener. The Blaugrana used 22 players throughout the match and most of them had a good time, and Luis Suárez scored an amazing last-minute winner to give Barça their second win of this preseason.
Arsenal started the game well with good possession work and high pressing that forced Barça into a few risky passes, which didn’t always work and left the defense vulnerable to Arsenal’s pace and skill up front. Aubameyang and Mkhitaryan were especially difficult to deal with, and the two were involved in every good Arsenal move in the first period.
Barça struggled to defend but did well with the ball whenever the three midfielders were involved. De Jong started the actions, Rakitic mixed his passes to find teammates in good positions and Riqui Puig constantly looked to combine with Griezmann, who along with Dembélé caused problems with their movement.
Despite the good attacking performance Barça didn’t exactly create great chances, with Puig and Alba the only ones to hit the target while Griezmann had a goal correctly disallowed for offside. The only goal of the half came from Arsenal after a gorgeous pass from Özil and a spectacular finish from Aubameyang.
At halftime, Barça were good with the ball and not good without it, while the Gunners were clinical and took their best chance.
Barça defended better in the second half against an Arsenal side looking to protect the result and stay closer to their own box, while the Blaugrana tried to press high and create chances with a much different midfield and attack after seven halftime changes.
There were no real opportunities against a solid Arsenal defense, but the Gunners gifted the equalizer after a terrible mental mistake by Maitland-Niles who scored a really bad own goal. Arsenal were not affected by what happened and continued to look dangerous on the counter, and they nearly scored the winner through Martinelli but the young Brazilian missed a huge chance in front of goal.
As we reached the final minutes the game was destined for penalties, but a moment of brilliance decided the match: Sergi Roberto played a great cross into the box and Luis Suárez scored a spectacular volley in the 90th minute to win the 2019 Joan Gamper Trophy.
Barcelona (1H): Neto; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, De Jong, Puig; Dembélé, Griezmann, Pérez
Barcelona (2H): Ter Stegen; Semedo (Wagué), Todibo, Lenglet, Alba (Miranda); Roberto, Busquets, Aleñá; Dembélé (Suárez), Griezmann (Collado), Rafinha
Goals: Maitland-Niles (OG 69’), Suárez (90’)
Arsenal: Leno; Maitland-Niles, Chambers, Sokratis (Mustafi), Monreal (Kolasinac); Willock (Ceballos), Xhaka (Torreira); Mkhitaryan (Saka), Özil (Martinelli), Nelson (Guendouzi); Aubameyang (Nketiah)
Goal: Aubameyang (36’)