Bukayo Saka and Leandro Trossard shined as Arsenal twice came from behind to defeat Spanish champions Barcelona 5-3 in a pre-season friendly in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
Belgian international Trossard scored twice in the 55th and 78th minutes to help the English Premier League runners-up to a convincing win at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
The start of an entertaining match at the home of the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams was delayed by 30 minutes due to traffic on the way to the stadium.
When the game finally started, Barcelona came out on top, with Moroccan forward Abde Ezzalzouli producing a stunning run down the left flank to set up the Catalans’ opener.
Raphinha met Ezzalzouli’s cross, and his first-time shot was saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, but only as far as Robert Lewandowski, who rammed home the winner in the seventh minute.
Arsenal, on the other hand, were quick to respond, with England international Bukayo Saka equalizing in the 13th minute following a defensive lapse by Barcelona center-half Andreas Christensen.
On 22 minutes, Saka missed an opportunity to put Arsenal ahead from the penalty spot, shooting wide of the post after Ronald Araujo handled in the area.
However, Barcelona regained the lead shortly after the half-hour mark, with Raphinha’s long-range free-kick deflecting off Martin Odegaard in the Arsenal wall to fool Ramsdale.
However, Odegaard made amends just before halftime, flicking on to Arsenal’s new signing Kai Havertz, who finished from close range.
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Arsenal dominated the second half for long stretches, with Saka spurning a golden opportunity to put the Gunners ahead early in the second half, shooting over from five yards out with the goal begging.
Arsenal’s pressure eventually paid off, with Trossard scoring in the 55th and 78th minutes to make the score 4-2.
Barcelona’s Ferran Torres scored a late consolation in the 88th minute to give the Catalans hope, but Fabio Vieira sealed the win with a long-range strike a minute before fulltime.