Date : –  Tuesday 8th August 2023 Kick off : –  20.00 (local time); 19.00 (UK time)
Competition : –  Friendly – Joan Gamper Trophy Venue : –  Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys, Montjuic, Barcelona
Crowd : –  ??
Referee : –  Jesus Gil Manzano (Spain) Linesmen : – ??; ??
Fourth official : – ??
Weather : –  Very warm, dry
Spurs kicked off the first half.
Playing time : –   90 + 7 minutes


    Lewandowski  02m 18s   Skipp  23m 16s
    Torres  80m 50s   Skipp  35m 44s
    Fati  89m 40s   
    Ezzalzouli  90+2m 36s   
     Bissouma  (foul on Romeu)  26


15.   Marc-Andre Ter STEGEN    (  2.   INAKI Pena  61)   13.   Guglielmo VICARIO
23.   Jules KOUNDE  23.   Pedro PORRO
24.   Eric GARCIA  (  27.   Lamine YAWAL 80   15.   Eric DIER  (c)
4.   Ronald ARAUJO  (  20.   SERGI Roberto  32)  6.   Davinson SANCHEZ
3.   Alejandro BALDE  (  17.   Marcos ALONSO  61)   3.   Sergio REGUILON 
6.   GAVI  (  10.   Ansu FATI  61  4.   Oliver SKIPP    (  45.   Alfie DEVINE  72) 
18.   Oriel ROMEU   (  29.   Fermin LOPEZ  80  8.   Yves BISSOUMA    (  29.   Pape Matar SARR  88)  
21.   Frankie de JONG    
72.   Manor SOLOMON
8.   PEDRI  (  14.   Ilkay GUNDOGAN  61)  18.   Giovani Lo CELSO 
14.   Ivan PERISIC    (  24.   Djed SPENCE  72) 
22.   RAPHINHA    (  16.   Abdessamad EZZALZOULI  61     
9.   Robert LEWANDOWSKI      (  11.   Ferran TORRES  61     9.   RICHARLISON  (  44.   Dane SCARLETT  76) 
Substitutes Substitutes
25.   Ander ASTRALAGA 40.   Brandon AUSTIN
2.   Sergino DEST 64.   Luca GUNTER
5.   Inigo MARTINEZ 12.   Emerson ROYAL
12.   Clement LENGLET 33.   Ben DAVIES
15.   Andreas CHRISTENSEN 74.   Ashley PHILLIPS
31.   Alex VALLE 7.   Heung-Min SON
38.   Angel ALCARON   

    = Assist        =  Goal scored       =  Own goal scored

Manager : –  Xavi Manager : –  Ange Postecoglou
Kit Supplier : –  Nike Kit Supplier : – Nike
Shirt Sponsor : – Spotify Shirt Sponsor : – AIA
Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – Ambilight TV Shirt Sleeve Sponsor : – cinch
Shirt Back Sponsor : – UNHCR ACNUR  
Colours : –
Red and dark blue striped shirts; dark blue shorts; r
ed socks
Colours : –
All white with navy blue collar and cuffs


Barcelona beat Spurs in their temporary stadium 4-2 with the goals that gave them victory coming in the last few minutes of the match after Spurs had turned around a second minute goal to lead 2-1 for the bulk of the game.  Only Guglielmo Vicario remained in the starting line-up from Sunday, as a number of players stayed at home and others began the match on the bench, as did new signing Ashley Phillips.  This was to be the sternest test of pre-season and the last game before Brentford away on Sunday.

After Richarlison had been presented with the ball inside the Barca penalty area by a sloppy pass, but was unable to control it, the home side broke and Raphinha ran onto a long pass down the right, came inside Davinson Sanchez and dinked a cross beyond the far post, where Robert Lewandowski swivelled to strike it left-footed first time finding the net off the underside of Vicario’s elbow.  It was another goal when Porro lost his bearings in relation to the man who was free behind him.

Two minutes later it could have got worse, as Lewandowski was in the box on the right and tried to find Pedri approaching the D, but it took a deflection, putting Raphinha in, 12 yards out, but he fired his effort over the top, when he should really have hit the target.  Spurs had been caught out in this move by another straight ball over the last defender, so that aspect of the team’s defending still needs working on.  While Barcelona players were clattering into late and unnecessary tackles, leaving Skipp and Solomon on the floor and needing treatment, the high press was forcing errors, with Ter Stegen loose in his passing out from his box.  Barcelona players, who wouldn’t have known a fair tackle if it was one of them that made it, were furious when Bissouma ran 30 yards back to make an excellent challenge on de Jong as closed on the penalty area.

Meawhile, Richi had a half-chance he had to take under pressure and put it wide off a defender, while Porro tried a shot from range that brought another corner.  This one was swung into the near post by Lo Celso and the keeper had to hurry to smuggle it around for another corner before he was embarrassed by Gio’s ball in.  Tottenham worked the ball out from the back, down the left side until Reguilon pulled a pass back to Lo Celso free in the box.  The Argentinean mis-hit his shot with his left foot and it went away from the keeper and past him, but bounced out off the post.  Oliver Skipp was alert and followed in at the far post to put the ball past the stricken Ter Stegen for the equaliser with on 23 minutes.

Bissouma got booked for a second innocuous foul by the overly fussy Spanish referee, who seemed to interpret the laws in his own special way, particularly in the 33rd minute when a Spurs corner was headed away form goal by Sanchez and when it dropped the ball bounced up to hit the arm of Balde, which was away form his body, but no penalty as given.  It was even more difficult to understand when Lewandowski went over the top on Bissouma.  It was a much worse tackle than either of Bissouma’s and the referee was in danger of causing a player to be seriously injured.

When the free kick was taken, it was moved out to Perisic on the left and with Reguilon taking attention away with a run outside him, Ivan crossed into the goal mouth and Skippy rose on the six-yard line to wrap his head around a powerful header under the bar to make it 2-0.  It had been a feature of pre-season that Skipp getting up in attack and he was filling his boots in the Olympic Stadium and here he got ahead of a weak challenge from de Jong, who didn’t get off the floor. 

Before the second goal, Sanchez had been sharp to make a couple of really good tackles.  Firstly he raced back to win the ball in a foot race with Ronald Araujo, leaving him holding his thigh and having to be substituted and then winning a ball against Raphinha that left the former Leeds man digging back at him in frustration.  Barca had lost their early swagger and Spurs had another chance two minutes before the break, as Richarlison played the ball right to Solomon, but it was a bit too wide and his shot brought a routine save from the keeper as the angle didn’t help our winger.  Barcelona won their first corner in added time, but Sanchez jumped to head it away.  With seconds to go, Raphinha crossed for Romeu to run onto it, but he could only glance his header well wide.

At the start of the second half, Barcelona’s players continued what they had been doing in the first half, by holding onto their face after every challenge trying to con the weak referee, which they did after five minutes, as Raphinha grabbed his face when Sanchez was shepherding the ball off.  Spurs defended it well and Sanchez did well once more, when it looked as though Gavi might have got through on to a long straight pass, but the Colombian won it and then played the ball out from a tight situation around our box. 

Lo Celso was running things in midfield, so when he played the ball to Reguilon, the full-back’s pass inside to Richarlison and on the turn, hit a shot at goal, but it went too high..  In the next attack not only did Eric Garcia, who thinks he is the new Sergio Ramos, was snide in first stepping on Lo Celso’s ankle and then flicking a kick out at him as the free-kick was given to Spurs.  Dier’s effort was deflected wide and Lo Celso took it, finding Richarlison’s head but he put it wide.  At the Spurs end Pedri hit a shot over the bar as he got into the box, but he was leaning back.  When Spurs played the ball out, it was a bit loose although Dier’s pass turned defence into attack and Perisic’s ball across went to the back of the box for Porro to side-foot a shot at goal that touched Gavi on the way and Ter Stegen had to keep it out with his knee. 

Barcelona made a raft of substitutions on the hour, which seemed to perk up their play with Gundogan releasing Alonso on the left and his ball across the penalty are picked out Ferran Torres.  With a clear shot at goal, his effort was deflected over by a great sliding challenge from Davison Sanchez.  He denied substitute Ezzalzouli with a tackle that took the ball wide just after the same player had put a volley well over from a narrow angle.  Perisic left one on Garcia, which he didn’t like and the referee showed his lack of understanding of the game when Bissouma was fouled by Romeu and whistled for a free-kick when Richarlison was just about to launch a breakaway.  Perisic was up for it, as he barged over the substitute keeper when he was slow playing the ball away.

Now it was time for Tottenham’s subs, with Spence and Devine coming on for Persic and Skipp, who was denied the opportunity to get his hat-trick.  Romeu went through Richi for his third foul of the match, so a lack of consistency could be added to the list of referee’s failings.  It was his last play of the game, with Scarlett replacing him and Spurs started to engage the press again, winning a corner and then a free-kick when Bissouma danced past two players before being hacked down by Romeu, but Gio’s take was curled over the wall, but into the keeper’s arms.

Breaking from that free-kick, Barca sent Yamal, just on as a sub, away on the right wing and his low ball in picked out Torres’ run and he delicately lifted the ball over Vicario diving at his feet to level it at 2-2.  Reguilon just stepped up as the ball was played through to Yawal and it created the opportunity.

So, there was nine minutes left and Guglielmo Vicario was called on twice to keep the score all square.  He first flung himself to his right to push wide a shot from Ezzalzouli and then an even better save, reaching up to tip a fierce Alonso free-kick from out on the Barcelona right, halfway up the side of the box.  He hasn’t had a lot of chance with the goals he has conceded in pre-season, but some of his saves have been very impressive.   And he didn’t have much hope of saving the third Barcelona goal, Lawal left Reguilon for dead and then he reversed a pass to send Fati away and from just right of the goal he shot across Vicario to put Barca ahead for the first time since the second minute.  It was a disappointing end to the move, especially as we had lost the ball high up on the right, only to get done down our left side.

When Lawal got the ball again on the left, he left Reguilon holding his thigh as he played the ball down the line for Lopez to pull the ball back across the area for Ezzalzouli to tuck the ball past Guglielmo’s right hand as he dived that way, but the game was lost by then.  The young stars of the home club were the ones who turned the game in their favour and it was only in the last minutes of the match without some of our top players, while Barca had started with a lot of their star names.  With Ange giving players time on the pitch, it back-fired a little at the end of the game, but the players will need to see out matches when the real action starts.

Plenty of plus points and with better finishing, the result could have been different, but then the same could be said with better defending.  New recruits came in today, with Micky van de Ven adding to the defensive strength and, if rumour is to be believed, others will be joining him.  It might take a little time to gel the players and the ideas together, but hopefully not too long.

Steve Dawkins