2019 Trofeo Joan Gamper
  • Ainsley Maitland-Niles (69' OG)
  • Luis Suárez (90')
  • Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (36')

Barca need late Suarez strike to beat Arsenal

Luis Suarez struck in the final minute of the match as Barcelona came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Joan Gamper Trophy at Camp Nou on Sunday.

Suarez came off the bench to turn home a lofted pass from Sergi Roberto in his first appearance of the summer. Ainsley Maitland-Niles' own goal had previously cancelled out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's brilliant opener in front of 98,812 fans in Barcelona.

Barca aren't as far down the line in their preparations for the new season as Arsenal, who kick off their Premier League campaign next week against Newcastle United, and it told in the first half. Barca had plenty of possession, but aside from tame efforts from Riqui Puig and Jordi Alba they never came close to threatening Bernd Leno in goal.

Arsenal didn't create a lot but looked comfortable, with Unai Emery handing starts to Maitland-Niles, Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson ahead of their game against Newcastle. Alexandre Lacazette missed out with a knock.

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Aubameyang was clinical when a chance eventually came his way. With Samuel Umtiti poorly positioned, the forward spun Jordi Alba and hammered past Neto to give the Gunners the lead 10 minutes before the break.

Ernesto Valverde's Barca side still have two weeks until their curtain-raiser against Athletic Bilbao and two more friendlies before then. They play Napoli twice in the United States this coming week.

Lionel Messi will be back for those matches, but he didn't feature against Arsenal. Like Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal, he only returned on Sunday following his participation in the Copa America.

Valverde used the game to give minutes to everyone else, though, and his side improved after he made seven changes at the break. Ousmane Dembele drilled just wide and Leno tipped over from Carles Alena as the home side pressed.

The game turned, though, when Maitland Niles rolled the ball into his own net in the 69th minute after a mix up with Leno. He was under no pressure after Suarez had miscontrolled an Antoine Griezmann pass.

Suarez then hit the side netting before Gabriel Martinelli had a rare chance for Arsenal, firing just wide with Marc-Andre ter Stegen beaten.

With the game heading to penalties, Suarez then stepped up at the end of a week which saw him return to training.