FC Barcelona faced Manchester City in a friendly match at a peculiar time in the season. This match was originally scheduled to be played last year but both clubs agreed to postpone the fixture as the stadium wouldn’t have been at its full capacity due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
What was the purpose of the game?
The funds raised from this match between the two European powerhouses will go towards research into Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Pep Guardiola and Luis Enrique’s former goalkeeping coach, Juan Carlos Unzue, was unfortunately diagnosed with the condition in 2020. As a result, the clubs made the decision to play the match and give all the funds in support of ALS .
The friendly match kicked off in a not so friendly manner. Barca had two good chances in the opening 5 minutes. An Aubameyang header that was saved by Ortega and a Kessie long range effort that striked the woodwork. Despite both teams’ poor chemistry, Barca looked the more comfortable team in and out of possession in the opening 20 minutes. Julian Alvarez made it 1-0 on the night ater Iñaki Peña failed to collect a relatively easy cross from Sergio Gomez. Eight minutes later, Aubameyang responded with a nice finish on the half volley. The intensity cooled down and the teams went in at half time with the score being 1-1.
The second half started off similarly to how the first ended; low intensity. City looked more comfortable in possession as Stones and Cancelo entered the pitch for Walker and Sergio Gomez. A poor pass from KDB in the 66th minute led to a mix up in the box which saw Frenkie De Jong slam the ball into the back of the net. 2-1 Barca.
Soon later, Bernado found Cancelo who crossed it into Cole Palmer to tie the game once more. Sergio Roberto’s cross found Memphis’ feet to give the hosts a 3-2 lead.
Luke Mbete, the Man City centre-back, unfortunately clashed heads with Andres Christensen and had to be assessed on the pitch and then stretchered off.
As the game resumed,Christensen presented Man City with an opportunity to equalize after he fouled Haaland in the box. Mahrez gave the keeper no chance and blasted the spot-kick into the top right corner.
The match ended 3-3. It was more entertaining than expected and both teams will be happy with their performance on the night.