BARCELONA 0 CITY 1
19th August 2009
Joan Gamper trophy
Ref David Miranda Torres
City Given, Onuoha, Dunne, K Toure, Zabaleta, Weiss, Wright-Phillips, Ireland, Barry, Petrov, Tevez – subs Ben Haim(46), Bellamy(65), Garrido(65), Tripper(81), Etuhu(69) Taylor(unused), Vidal(unused), McGivern(unused)
Barcelona Pinto, Montoya, Puyol, Fontas, Maxwell, Sergio, Y Toure, Gudjohnsen, Jeffren, Bojan, Pedro – subs Alves(46), Messi(46), Bartra(30), Pique(65), Jonathan(46), Keita(46), Gai(54), Ibrahimovic(46), Mino(unused), Henrique(unused), Munies(unused), Thiago(unused)
“August 19th Camp Nou. I was honoured to go to El Joan Gamper, this is the game where Barcelona presents the team for the forthcoming season to the Catalan Peoples, and normally this can be compared to a Spanish Bull fight. Where the opposing team is considered as the bull that is about to be killed. However on this simmering night, we shocked them all… Messi and co. To silence 93 000 catalans is a fantastic feeling. When the game had finished we were applauded for our banter after the game with a standing Ovation when we marched down Ave Les Corts !
DARYL BONE A City fan now living in Barcelona
WHAT THE PRESS SAID
Martin Petrov’s first half strike gave Manchester City victory over Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Joan Gamper trophy on Wednesday night.
The Bulgaria winger struck after 27 minutes to frustrate an experimental Barca line-up and make it a frustrating debut for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who came on as a substitute after the interval.
City coach Mark Hughes handed a first start to Carlos Tevez up front, but Robinho, Emmanuel Adebayor and Micah Richards were all missing and Craig Bellamy began on the bench.
With Sunday’s Spanish Supercup second leg against Athletic Bilbao just around the corner, Pep Guardiola picked a team made of mainly youngsters and fringe players.
Only three – Carlos Puyol, Yaya Toure and Maxwell – are likely to be first-team regulars this term.
But despite their scratch side, Barcelona showed that their fancy footwork is not exclusive to their star names.
The Catalans took a while to find their rhythm, but had the better of the opening stages.
Toure’s piledriver was deflected wide after five minutes and Pedro saw a stinging effort well parried by Shay Given moments later.
Barcelona then came desperately close to taking the lead halfway through the first period.
The lively Jeffren skipped past Pablo Zabaleta on the right wing and crashed a drive into the base of the post.
The ball rebounded out to Bojan Krkic at the far post, but the young striker blasted wastefully over the bar.
The home crowd were warming to their side’s play now.
But they were silenced after 27 minutes as Petrov gave City the lead against the run of play.
Stephen Ireland picked out the advancing Bulgarian with a low pass which cut straight through the Barca defence and Petrov, unmarked, took one touch before coolly slotting the ball past an exposed Jose Pinto.
Guardiola opted for changes at the break, with Ibrahimovic, Lionel Messi and Dani Alves all on for the second half.
Ibrahimovic glanced a header just wide and was brilliantly denied by Given later in the half.
Two minutes before that, Jonathan Dos Santos – brother of Tottenham forward and former Barca youth product Giovani – had seen a thunderous drive crash off the crossbar and out to safety.
Barca came back from a goal down in the dying seconds to beat Boca Juniors 2-1 in the corresponding fixture last season.
And they looked for history to repeat itself here.
Alves fizzed a free-kick just over the bar and Given came rushing off his line to save at the feet of Messi.
And the Catalans looked certain to score as the ball pinged around the City penalty area in the closing stages, but the visitors eventually cleared and were relieved to see Thiago’s angled drive flash wide in the last minute.
Messi also crashed a stinging drive against the post as Barca did everything but score at the death.
But Bellamy almost made it two for Hughes’ side with the last kick of the game, only to see his low effort sail the wrong side of the post.
It mattered little, though, as City held on for what is a morale-boosting win ahead of this Saturday’s Premiership fixture at home to Wolves.
THE BELFAST TELEGRAPH