Barcelona, Aug 24 (EFE).- The 91,000-plus who packed into Camp Nou for Wednesday’s charity friendly between FC Barcelona and Manchester City were treated to an exciting contest that ended 3-3 thanks to the visitors’ penalty conversion in stoppage-time.
Proceeds from “A Great Game for a Greater Cause” will go to a foundation pursuing research into ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
The match was proposed by Juan Carlos Unzue, Pep Guardiola’s teammate and – later – assistant coach at Barcelona, who was diagnosed with ALS more than two years ago.
Unzue spent the first half with Guardiola in the Man City technical area before joining current Blaugrana boss Xavi Hernandez for the second period.
Fans hoping to see a dual between Robert Lewandowski and Erling Haaland were disappointed, as Xavi left the Poland international out of the squad.
All of the scoring for the Catalan club came from players rumored to be on their way out: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Frenkie de Jong and Memphis Depay.
The home side dominated for the opening 20 minutes, but the first goal went to City, as Julian Alvarez got the better of Barcelona backup keeper Iñaki Peña in the 21st minute.
Aubameyang equalized for the hosts eight minutes later and the teams went to the dressing rooms deadlocked at 1-1.
The pace slowed after the break and Peña made impressive stops to deny Alvarez and Joao Cancelo before De Jong pounced on a loose ball to make it 2-1 for the Blaugrana in the 66th minute.
City pulled level again in the 70th with a goal by Cole Palmer, only to see Depay reclaimed the lead for Barcelona with 10 minutes left.
Nearly 10 minutes of stoppage time were added on because of an extended delay in carrying City’s Luke Mbete-Tabu off on a stretcher after a collision and the visitors made the most of it, as Haaland drew a questionable penalty and Riyad Mahrez converted for the 3-3. EFE