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Barcelona vs Tottenham, Joan Gamper Trophy: Final Score 4-2, Barça finish preseason with amazing comeback win at home

The kids are alright.


Barcelona’s preparations for the 2023-24 season came to an end on Tuesday night in Catalonia as the Blaugrana continued the tradition of winning highly entertaining matches in the annual Joan Gamper Trophy, with a 4-2 victory over Tottenham Hotspur thanks to a sensational second half comeback led by Barça’s very exciting young players. The first match of the season at the Montjuïc Olympic Stadium offered a glimpse of the future, and it looks very, very promising.


The first game in Barça’s new temporary home certainly lacked the usual joyful atmosphere from the Gamper matches at Camp Nou, with plenty of empty seats and a crowd not very engaged as they get used to life at Montjuïc.

But the team still made a bright start to the game, scoring just three minutes in through Robert Lewandowski after a wonderful assist by Raphinha. The Brazilian could have doubled the lead two minutes later when he found himself one-on-one with the keeper, but fired over the bar and missed a golden chance.

After 10 excellent minutes of great passing, player movement and counter-pressing, Barça lost a lot of the early momentum and began making easy mistakes on and off the ball, which allowed Tottenham to slowly grow into the game.

Spurs struggled to create chances early but eventually started to find spaces inside the Blaugrana defense, which was uncharacteristically vulnerable and not as intense as the one from last season. And after a great passing sequence down the left wing Spurs found the equalizer, after a shot from Giovani Lo Celso hit the post and the rebound fell to Oliver Skipp who easily found the back of the net.

The Premier League side dominated the final 15 minutes of the half, with more possession, good attacking moves and excellent work without the ball against a Barça team mostly walking on the pitch. That lack of intensity cost the Catalans again, and Skipp got his second of the game with a free header inside the box after losing Frenkie De Jong and finding himself free in the area.

To make matters worse for the home team, Barça lost Ronald Araujo to an apparent muscle injury after the Uruguayan made a long sprint down the right wing and immediately asked to be substituted.

The first half came to an end with Barça having played well for the first 10 minutes and completely disappearing for the rest of the period, and needing a big reaction in the second half to get the win in their home opener.


Barça made a strong start to the final period, playing with better urgency in possession and pressing harder to recover the ball more quickly. They attacked with more numbers and had some dangerous moments in the Spurs box, but never truly troubled Guglielmo Vicario in goal in the first 15 minutes of the period.

Then at the 60th minute Xavi Hernández made six changes, resting his most important players for Sunday’s league opener while also giving minutes to reserves and allowing Ilkay Gundogan a chance to make his debut in front of the home fans. The substitutes came on with an excellent attitude, and a new front three of Ez Abde, Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati caused plenty of problems with their pace and direct play.

With 10 minutes to go Xavi gave more minutes to two exciting youngsters in Fermín López and Lamine Yamal, and Yamal made a giant impact in less than 60 seconds: the 16-year-old received a sensational pass from Jules Kounde and used the outside of his left foot to assist Ferran Torres, who scored the equalizer and made the end of the game very interesting.

Yamal was simply fantastic in his short cameo, dominating defenders and creating chances with his skills and passing vision. He was the driving force behind a strong finish from Barça, who could have easily scored the winner soon after Ferran’s equalizer if not for a couple of brilliant saves by Vicario.

But Barça kept pushing until the end, and found the winner thanks to another sensational individual move by Yamal, a perfect assist from Ferran and a beautiful finish from Ansu Fati, who ended his excellent preseason with the winning goal to complete the comeback. Barça were still not done, and deep into stoppage time Fermín López made his mark with a beautiful pass to Ez Abde for the Blaugrana’s fourth on the night.

The final whistle came to end a fun night at Montjuïc, with Barça’s incredible young talent leaving a real impression and Lamine Yamal showing once again why he might just be the most exciting prospect La Masia has produced in a decade. If Xavi allows himself to trust the youth, this squad has real depth and the chance to do something special in 2023-24.

Bring on the new season!

Barcelona: Ter Stegen (Peña 61’); Araujo (Roberto 32’), Kounde, Eric (Yamal 79’), Balde (Alonso 61’); Romeu (Fermín 79’), De Jong; Raphinha (Abde 62’), Pedri (Gundogan 62’), Gavi (Fati 61’); Lewandowski (Ferran 61’)

Goals: Lewandowski (3’), Ferran (81’), Fati (90’), Abde (90+3’)

Tottenham: Vicario; Porro, Dier, Sánchez, Reguilón; Skipp (Devine 72’), Bissouma (Sarr 88’); Solomon, Lo Celso, Perisic (Spence 72’); Richarlison (Scarlett 76’)

Goals: Skipp (24’, 36’)

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