Maitland-Niles own goal and late strike from Suárez bring Barça from behind to beat Arsenal
A sensational crowd of 98,812, the biggest ever for the Gamper Trophy, packed the Camp Nou to welcome in the new season with a win as Barça came from behind to dispatch Arsenal in the traditional curtain-raiser to the new season.
The night was also about welcoming the new faces. Frenkie de Jong, Antoine Griezmann and Neto were presented to the fans before the game and were all named in Ernesto Valverde’s starting eleven.
Camp Nou debuts
There were flashes of class from all three. Indeed, the Dutchman impressed so much that fans voted him Estrella Damm MVP.
Moussa Wagué also came on to make his Camp Nou debut as a fully-fledged first team member.
Young Riqui Puig of Barça B also dazzled when on for the first 45 minutes of a game against an Arsenal side that begins their Premiership campaign next week against Newcastle. And very much against the run of play it was the Gunners who took the lead. Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang found the net with what was, in all fairness, a very fine finish indeed.
But the game was mainly about one-way traffic in the direction of the Arsenal net. A goal for the home side was by no means unexpected, but the way it came certainly was.
A horrendous misunderstanding with his keeper resulted in Ainsley Maitland-Niles tapping the most bizarre of own goals into his own net.
Barça kept pushing in search of a winner and the fans were finally rewarded right at the end. Sergi Roberto sent the ball box-wards, and Luis Suárez slammed it home on the turn to secure the trophy.