Barcelona beat Tottenham 5-3 on penalties after the teams drew at 2-2 in the International Champions Cup match
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde is a happy man, although the team almost suffered a scare when Tottenham Hotspur caught up to them in the high-intensity match. The La Liga champions beat Tottenham 5-3 on penalties after the teams drew at 2-2 in the International Champions Cup match.
The match at Pasadena, California saw Barcelona's summer signing Artur score a stunning goal on his debut.
After the legendary midfield duo Andres Iniesta and Paulinho retired from the Catalans' side last season, the team paid 40 million euros to Brazilian outfit Gremio to sign 21-year-old Artur.
Valverde was impressed with Artur with his first-half display in Pasadena, but still is on the lookout for strong midfielders.
Valverde told AFP, "He is a player that can give us a lot. He can give us possession, goals and he was really motivated today. He had a great game during the minutes that he played."
Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino too is looking for a miracle-man to join the team. Hotspur has not signed anyone since last season's third-place finish in the Premier League.
Tottenham is in a spot. They have lost out on Victor Wanyama, Erik Lamela and Moussa Sissoko to injuries and are playing without their nine World Cup semi-final representatives.
"We are going to see what happens in the next few days," said Pochettino.
"But with or without injuries, I think that's our target [to strengthen the team] to bring in some players and add some with quality who can help us to achieve our goals."
Barcelona does not have the services of Argentina captain Lionel Messi and Uruguay's Luis Suarez while Tottenham is playing without star striker Harry Kane and Hugo Lloris.
Barcelona dominated the first half of the game. Andre Gomes gave Barca their first breakthrough. He kicked the ball in from the left, Rafinha hit a header back into the goal area and Munir effortlessly netted it.
Artur delivered the second goal. Rafinha passed the ball to Artur on the edge of the goal area and he kicked it into the far top corner beyond Tottenham goalkeeper Gazzaniga's reach.
Spurs, however, did not despair and levelled the match with two goals of their own.
Barcelona's defence was unsuccessful in stopping Ben Davies' left-wing cross. Christian Eriksen intercepted it and shot the ball towards the net but it was pushed away by Cillessen. Son Heung-Min caught the rebound and sent it back into the unguarded net.
The leveller came when Barcelona's was struggling to tackle the ball away from Son. Eriksen's shot the ball after it was cleared but was again blocked. Georges-Kevin N'koudou swooped in and netted the ball from inside the goal area to level the game.
In the subsequent penalty shoot-out, Anthony Georgious missed for Spurs. Barcelona was spot on with all of their five kicks.
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Last Updated Jul 30, 2018, 12:16 PM IST