Mon. May 16th, 2022

Marca

Barcelona’s poor run of results has continued, with the Blaugrana now  losing in the Maradona Cup match played in Saudi Arabia, a tribute to the legendary Argentine. They drew 1-1 with Boca Juniors over 90 minutes, with Exequiel Zeballos equalising after Ferran Jutgla opened the scoring, but the Buenos Aires side won 4-2 on penalties.

This was a chance for Xavi to try out some youngsters and to give Dani Alves his re-debut, with the Brazilian allowed to play in this game even though he won’t be eligible for official matches until January.

In a goalless first half, Dani Alves was one of the brightest performers, as was Riqui Puig, who had a couple of opportunities of his own. It was Philippe Coutinho, meanwhile, who came closest to opening the scoring.

After the break, Barcelona took the lead and it was Ferran Jutgla who scored it. After making his LaLiga Santander debut in Sunday’s draw at Osasuna, the 22-year-old turned brilliantly and blasted a shot into the net from inside the penalty area in the 50th minute, although it should be said that the assist from Coutinho was a handball.

Ferran Jutgla had further chances in the following minutes, as did Ilias Akhomach Chakkour after coming on, but Boca Juniors grew into the second half and equalised in the 77th minute as Frank Fabra crossed for Zeballos to turn in.

That took the game to penalties, with the Maradona Cup on the line. There, Boca won 4-2 as they scored all their penalties, while Matheus Pereira had one saved and Guillem Jaime blasted over.

It’s another disappointing result for Barcelona, but there will be lessons Xavi can take from this.

By Nwosu Chizoba David

Nwosu Chizoba David is a soccer lover and writer. He is a graduate of Biological Sciences, presently teaching in a secondary in Lagos.

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