Barcelona came from behind to beat Arsenal 2-1 in the teams’ Joan Gamper Trophy game at Camp Nou on Sunday evening.
There was an extraordinary own-goal from Ainsley Maitland-Niles and a last-minute winner from Luis Suarez.
Unai Emery’s side took the lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in the first half, the former Borussia Dortmund forward firing a fierce shot into the top corner from just inside the box after he had got away from Jordi Alba on 36 minutes.
Barca dominated much of the play, but were finding it difficult to create openings in the absence of captain Lionel Messi.
The Argentine addressed fans before kick-off and said he did not regret his message ahead of last year’s Gamper, when he vowed that he and his team-mates would do everything to bring back the Champions League to Camp Nou.
He assured Barca would compete for all the biggest prizes again this term, but would sit this one out as he is behind his team-mates after returning later due to his participation in the Copa America.
Griezmann saw an effort ruled out for offside in the first half and worked hard during his 78 minutes on the pitch, leaving to warm applause from the huge 98,812 crowd at Camp Nou.
By that time, Barca were level as Maitland-Niles intercepted a ball into the Arsenal area and, without looking, played a pass back towards goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who had moved off his line.
Sokratis raced back to try and clear, but the defender could not stop the ball from trickling into the empty net.
Emery held his head on the sidelines and Maitland-Niles could not believe what he had done.
Substitute Suarez hit the side netting shortly after that from a tight angle and Gabriel Martinelli volleyed just wide with 10 minutes left at the other end.
And just when it looked like the game would finish on level terms, Sergi Roberto chipped a ball into the Arsenal area and Suarez turned to direct a precise volley past Leno and into the corner to seal a win for the Blaugrana in the last minute.
Frenkie de Jong, in his first game at Camp Nou, was named Man of the Match as Barca lifted the Gamper Trophy in their traditional curtain-raiser before heading off to the United States on Monday for two friendlies against Napoli.
Source: Evening Standard