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Vissel Kobe vs Barcelona, friendly: Final Score 0-2, Pablo Torre shines as Eric Garcia and Franck Kessie goals secure win

A win and a farewell for Andres Iniesta


Barcelona signed off the 2022-23 season with a comfortable win over Vissel Kobe in Japan, a post-season friendly that will also earn the club a few million euros.

Xavi named plenty of youngsters and fringe players in his starting XI, handing starts to Julian Araujo, Pau Prim and Dani Rodriguez. Top scorer Robert Lewandowski also started the game, while Frenkie de Jong wore the captain’s armband.


Barcelona almost took the lead within the first two minutes in Tokyo. Pablo Torre twisted, turned and fired a shot across goal that hit the bottom of the post and rebounded to safety.

Torre came close again in the 12th minute after receiving the ball on the edge of the area, A neat touch saw him slide past Iniesta and fire a low shot at goal that was blocked by the goalkeeper.

The youngster was at the heart of everything for Barca and teed up the opening goal minutes later. A neat pass picked out a Franck Kessie run, and the midfielder pulled out a pretty composed finish to slide the ball home.

Barca’s second goal wasn’t long in coming and again came from Torre. A corner in from the left by the youngster was met firmly by Eric Garcia, who nodded a strong header past the goalkeeper to make it 2-0.

Former Barca boys Iniesta and Samper both had sights of goal just on the half hour. Iniesta fired a shot into the side-netting from the edge of the area, while Samper’s low effort whistled just past Pena’s post.

The hosts should have had one back just before half-time after catching Barca out with a long ball over the top. However, Pena twice denied Lincoln to ensure the visitors went in at the break with their two-goal advantage intact.


The second half brought a host of changes with Jules Kounde, Hector Font, Gavi, Raphinha, Ferran Torres and Marc Guiu all entering the fray at the start of the second 45 minutes.

There were more chances after the break for Barcelona too. Guiu had a header tipped over the bar from another Torre corner, before Raphinha flashed a fierce effort wide.

Torre departed on the hour and Barca weren’t quite as creative without the midfielder on the pitch. More changes also followed with Arnau Tenas getting some first-team minutes in place of Pena.

Iniesta departed with 10 minutes left to play to a huge ovation from the crowd, and Xavi on the touchline, as he played his final game for Vissel Kobe after almost five years with the J-League side.

Ferran wasted a late chance for Barcelona who settled for a 2-0 victory and a winning end to what has been a long campaign.

Barcelona: Pena (Tenas 60’), Julian Araujo, Eric, De Jong (Kounde 46’), Alonso (Font 46’); Pau Prim, Kessié (Gavi 46), Torre (Unai 59’); Rodríguez (Ferran 46’), Lewandowski (Guiu 46’), Fati (Raphinha 46’).

Goal: Kessie (16’), Eric (19’)

Vissel Kobe: Maekawa; Hatsuse, Osaki, Ozaki, Takahashi; Iniesta, Samper, Saito; Yuruki, Lincoln, Sasaki.

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