PRE-SEASON- Suarez Fires Winner as Barca Defeat Arsenal


An excellent late goal from Luis Suarez gave Barcelona a 2-1 friendly win over Arsenal at a packed Nou Camp.

In their final pre-season game, Arsenal named a fairly strong starting XI and led at half-time through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s fine individual strike.

But Barca were dominant after the break and levelled through Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ calamitous own goal.

Former Liverpool man Suarez then came off the bench to score a clinical late volley for the La Liga champions.

Lionel Messi was an unused substitute but a crowd of 98,812 did get their first glimpse of £107m signing Antoine Griezmann.

The Frenchman was fairly quiet, his best moment coming with a disallowed goal for offside after an excellent pass from Ivan Rakitic.

Arsenal – without record signing Nicolas Pepe – counter-attacked well in the first half and Aubameyang put them ahead with a brilliant turn and finish from 16 yards, shrugging off Jordi Alba to lash into the top corner.

That shocked the home crowd, and after half-time Barcelona were completely on top. Bernd Leno saved well from Ousmane Dembele twice before Maitland-Niles passed beyond him without looking for an own goal.

Seventeen-year-old Bukayo Saka looked lively for the Gunners as a late sub but Suarez prevented a penalty shootout when he ran onto Sergi Roberto’s lofted through ball to drive a volley past Leno.

Arsenal face Newcastle in their Premier League opener next Sunday.