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Barcelona down Arsenal wins Joan Gamper Trophy

Ainsley Maitland-Niles had a night to forget as his own goal and a Luis Suarez volley helped Barcelona to a 2-1 victory over Arsenal in the Joan Gamper Trophy.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Arsenal ahead but an Ainsley Maitland-Niles own goal helped Barcelona bounce back in the Joan Gamper Trophy.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang looked to have teed himself and the Gunners up for the new Premier League season in style with a fine first-half goal but Barcelona pressed in search of an error that eventually arrived when Maitland-Niles put through his own net.

It was a cruel moment for the 21-year-old in front of a huge Camp Nou crowd and Arsenal boss Unai Emery could have done without having his defender’s confidence dented with a Premier League season opener against Newcastle United just six days away.

There were positives for Emery to take from the game, not least the return to action of Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac after they were caught up in an apparent carjacking attempt, but Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde will have been the happier coach at the final whistle after seeing Suarez fire a late winner.

The Blaugrauna dominated for long spells, with the midfield trio of Frenkie de Jong, Ivan Rakitic and Riqui Puig implementing Valverde’s possession-based style impeccably in the absence of Lionel Messi, and the Spanish champions’ patience paid off.

About Ayeni Wale

Olawale Ayeni, is a Media and Communication Arts, Masters in view fellow, a graduate of Theatre Arts from the University of Abuja respectively, has been in journalism right from his school days. He was a sports broadcaster with Osun state Broadcasting Corporation (OSBC). He was Sports Editor, Daily Stream Newspaper before joining Leadership Newspaper as Sports Correspondent. A lover of grassroots sports development and golf. A strong support of Arsenal FC.

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