Barça won the Paris Trophy tonight, beating PSG on penalties after Messi and Rafinha had scored to make it 2-2 at full time
After the friendlies in Hamburg (1-2) and Tangier (0-8), this was a tougher test for Tito Villanova’s men tonight, as Carlos Ancelotti’s much reinforced PSG , who are looking to be a force in the European game this coming season, held them to a 2-2 draw at the Parc de Principes, before the visitors won on penalties.
Carles Puyol figured at the heart of the defence in his first game since the derby game against Espanyol last season before his knee operation in May and Valdes and Busquets also started for the first time since their successful Euro 2012 tournament.
Rafinha puts Barça ahead
PSG started with both their big summer signings, -Lavezzi and Ibrahimovic- as well as ex-Barça man Maxwell at left back and although they shared possession with Barça early on, a seventh minute goal from Rafinha put the visitors ahead. The Barça B youngster hit home a cross from the right from Alexis with his left peg to open his scoring account for the first team.
Barça now began to impose themselves in the middle and put together their trademark passing game and with the hosts unable to create any chances, it fell to Messi to threaten with a couple of opportunities before the break.
Run outs for Euro 2012 winners
Villanova used the game to give his Euro 2012 winners their first game, with Valdés and Sergio playing the first half and Piqué, Cesc, Iniesta, Xavi and Pedro coming on for the last half hour, whilst the Olympians Montoya and Tello also made their pre-season debuts.
Of the five Barça B players, Rafinha and Sergio Roberto played in the middle and with Jordi Alba, Adriano and Abidal, who took the ceremonial kick off, all missing, Tito began with Planas at left back, with Bartra on for Puyol in the second half and Tello also replacing Alves.
Messi gets fourth goal so far
The second half began with a heavy rain shower and both teams made a raft of changes. PSG tried to score through dead ball situations and with some quick counter attacking, but Barça just kept to their own style, with Messi scoring a rather generous penalty after Alexis was adjudged to have been brought down in the box for his fourth goal of the pre-season.
PSG draw level
Soon after that, the ref blew another penalty – this time in the Barça area and although Pinto came close to stopping it, Ibrahimovic’s effort was just good enough. The keeper made a great double stop from Luyindula as PSG flooded forward and Camera equalised on 82 minutes with a header from Camera from a corner on the right,
Pinto decisive in shootout
The penalty shootout saw Messi, Xavi, Cesc and Piqué on target, whilst Pinto stopped PSG’s first two attempts which meant that the fifth penalty wasn’t needed, and Abidal handed Xavi the trophy.
Barça’s next game is on Wednesday against Manchester United in Gothenburg.