The first game saw our club hosting FC Utrecht
in a relatively packed stadium for a friendly game, with just a little over 60,000 attendees watching the obvious, a pretty easy victory for the team. La Masia graduate, Riqui Puig
, scored the opener with a placed shot into the bottom corner from within the penalty area in the 22nd minute.
It took five more minutes before Jordi Alba
rised to head in a cross coming from the right wing and the scoreboard showed 2-0. Luis Suárez
was the last to appear the scoresheet after an accurate penalty kick in the 49th minute. 3-0
The second game was an inner one, between the first team to Barcelona B
and it was closed for the crowd. Luckily for them because the only worth mentioning highlight was an own goal by Ronald Araújo
in the 87th giving the senior team a win late in the game. 1-0
The next game happened in Philadelphia, United States when the local team, Philadelphia Union
, hosted us in a game which was nothing unlike the previous one.It had everything, goals and own goals, penalties, cards of all kind and unfortunate injury too.
17,030 spectators couldn't believe when the scoreboard showed 3-0 for the hosts after goals by Sergio Santos
(7), Ryan Maloney
(19) and penalty scored by Alejandro Bedoya
(25). Barcelona responded with an inside-the-box volley by Ousmane Dembélé
in the 30th minute but 4 minutes later, Elliott Carrillo, scored for the opponents.
twisted his ankle in a sprint and was subsituted by Yomi Scintu
in the 38th minute. Messi
narrowed Philadelphia's lead to two goals late in the first half with a sensational solo run from the half-way line all the way to an outside the box shot making it into the top left side of the net.
The second half had some action too, starting with a penalty missed by Lionel Messi in the 58th minute. Then Philadelphia Union's sub, Yomi Scintu,
fired a ball into the post and it cannoned off ter Stegen
and into the net. 5-2. The last goal came in the 74th minute after their keeper failed to save a 25 yard free-kick by Lionel Messi but it was not the last highlight with Mark Lubahn
sent off for a apalling challenge in the 88th minute, only three minutes after he came on. 5-3
Then we had faced Orlando City
in front of 25,211 viewers at Exploria Stadium and it definitely was a better game for the team. Arthur
scored the first with a powerful shot into the net 41 minutes into the game and the second goal happened 47 minutes later, in the 88th minute, after Orlando City's keeper, Pedro Gallese
, got a hand to but couldn't keep out a shot by the club's new signing, Antoine Griezmann
The last fixture in our pre-season was A.C Milan
, travelling to play Camp Nou in front of 77,875 people which saw only one team on the pitch. Zlatan Ibrahimovic
killed his team's chances with an early red card in the 15th minute after he hacked down Busquets
near the centre circle. Barcelona registered over 30 shots in the game but only two came in, Messi
's header to a cross by Jordi Alba after 31 minutes and an absoloute screamer by Arturo Vidal
in the 87th minute. 2-0
Our manager, Xavi
, commented: "We had a fine preparation for the season, the team jelled through this time and overall I'm very satisfied. Yes, we had a surprising defeat but we learned from that and the next game is an evidence to those who will face us in the future that we do not break so easy. I can say for myself that I am very confident, yet excited to see how this season goes for us."