By Josh James at the Nou Camp
We slipped to a late defeat in our final pre-season friendly of the summer, despite taking the lead through an excellent Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang strike.
It was tough pill to swallow after working so hard in a competitive, high-intensity friendly in Catalonia.
We were on the back foot for much of the first half. Although they didn't create any clear-cut chances, Barcelona dominated possession and were patiently building the play with youngster Riqui Puig seeing plenty of the ball in midfield.
As we were pushed back, we were relying on counter-attacks to forage into home territory. Reiss Nelson was full of running on the left flank with Joe Willock - yet again – looking composed and assured in possession against Frenkie De Jong in midfield.
But it was an inspirational intervention from Aubameyang that put us ahead. Receiving a lovely pass just outside the area from Mesut Ozil, he turned on to his right foot, glided past Jordi Alba and smashed his shot into the top corner, giving Neto no chance.
Barcelona made a raft of changes at the break, and we came under increased pressure at the back. Willock kept the scores level with an acrobatic goal-line clearance but it went from the sublime to the ridiculous when Ainsley Maitand-Niles' backpass wrongfooted Bernd Leno and trickled into the net.
Gabriel Martinelli could have won it late on, only to volley just wide from Bukayo Saka's cross.
Just as it looked like penalties would be needed to decide the winner of the Joan Gamper Trophy, Luis Suarez popped up in the last minute to tuck past Leno.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Click here to read a play-by-play report of the game.
THREE THINGS WE NOTICED
We played seven games during pre-season, winning four and losing three. We scored 13, conceded 8 and took part in two penalty shoot outs. We had eight different scorers, Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang top scored with three each.
Here's the full result rundown:
July 16: Colorado Rapids 0, Arsenal 3 (Denver)
July 18: Bayern Munich 1, Arsenal 2 (Los Angeles)
July 20: Fiorentina 0, Arsenal 3 (Charlotte)
July 24: Real Madrid 2*, Arsenal 2 (Washington)
July 28: Lyon 2, Arsenal 1 (London)
July 31: Angers 1, Arsenal 1* (Angers)
August 4: Barcelona 2, Arsenal 1 (Barcelona)
* = won on pens
That's the pre-season schedule completed, next up it's the real thing – our 2019/20 Premier League campaign kicks off away to Newcastle United at 2pm on Sunday.
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