Report: FC Barcelona 4 Leicester City 2
- Munir Mohammed netted either side of Luis Suarez’s instinctive finish in the first period
- Ahmed Musa scored his first goals for Leicester City after netting twice in the second half
- Rafael Mujica netted late on for Barcelona to round off the scoring
- Bartosz Kapustka made his first appearance for the Club as a second-half substitute
Leicester City were beaten 4-2 by Barcelona in their final International Champions Cup fixture at Friends Arena on Wednesday evening.
The La Liga champions were ruthless in the first half, as a double from Munir Mohammed and as strike from Luis Suarez put them into a commanding 3-0 lead.
But City were excellent after the break and reduced the deficit to just one goal thanks to a brace from Ahmed Musa.
The half-time substitute finished well just two minutes into the second half for his first Leicester City goal, before hammering the ball into the top corner on 67 minutes.
The Foxes looked good value for a third goal, but a fine attacking move from Barcelona eventually saw Rafael Mujica wrap up the victory.
Striker Jamie Vardy made his first start of pre season, while there was a place on the substitute bench for Bartosz Kapustka, who signed for the Club just a few hours before kick-off.
The Foxes’ resolve was tested from the off, as Ron-Robert Zieler was forced to parry Denis Suarez’s half volley away, before an offside Luis Suarez turned the follow up wide.
A simply stunning long-range pass over the top of the Barcelona defence from Danny Drinkwater then found Demarai Gray, who burst away from his marker, but couldn’t find the target just moments after Zieler’s early stop.
A darting run from four-time Ballon D’Or winner Leo Messi eventually saw the Argentina international slip in Munir, who fired over from a tight angle with nine minutes gone.
Centre back Robert Huth was called into action shortly after, as the German did brilliantly to nod away Messi’s free kick, before Zieler collected Luis Suarez’s tame effort from the resulting corner.
Gray then spearheaded a brilliant counter attack, as he breezed past three Barcelona players, before putting a fine pass into the path of Vardy. The England international latched onto the pass and attempted to return the ball to Gray, but Jeremy Mathieu did well to chest the ball back to goalkeeper Jordi Masip.
Huth stood strong again just after the quarter-four mark to block Denis Suarez’s long-range drive, while Messi hammered over an effort from a similar distance just moments later.
Barcelona’s persistence paid off with 26 minutes on the clock, as Messi produced a perfectly-waited pass into the feet of Munir, who made no mistakes from inside the box.
Luis Suarez came close to doubling the Barcelona lead just after the half-hour mark, only for Zieler to rush out well to block the former Liverpool striker’s shot.
But the Uruguay international did beat Zieler for a second time of asking with 34 minutes gone, as he rode challenges from Huth and Ben Chilwell before stabbing into the roof of the net for 2-0.
Messi blasted wide from outside the box two minutes later, while at the other end, Huth came just inches away from converting Marc Albrighton’s dangerous free kick.
A fine Foxes move down the left then saw Chilwell deliver into Vardy, who nodded just over the bar under pressure as the game approached half-time.
Another opportunity for City to pull one back in the first period – again crafted by Chilwell from the left flank – fell to midfielder Andy King, who headed straight at Masip.
And despite threatening to get back into the game before the break, the Spanish champions made it 3-0, as Munir slotted in from Luis Suarez’s excellent pass right on the stroke of half-time.
Ranieri made seven changes to his side at the break, and it took just two minutes for City to pull a goal back, as the Foxes look much-improved.
Musa raced away from the Barcelona defence and finished brilliantly past Masip to score his first goal in a Leicester shirt.
Fellow half-time substitute Jeffrey Schlupp then produced an excellent piece of movement to break away from his marker, but curled straight into the arms of Masip on 57 minutes.
Ranieri then introduced City new boy Kapustka for his debut just after the hour mark alongside Ghana international Daniel Amartey.
The Foxes scored their second goal of the game shortly after, as Schlupp did well to win the ball and set up Musa, who produced a superb finish on 67 minutes.
The game opened up as Leicester pushed for an equaliser, with substitute Marcin Wasilewski next to threaten, as the powerful defender glanced Christian Fuchs’ corner off target.
At the other end, Zieler made a fine save with his finger tips to turn Sergio Busquets’ low drive round the post.
A huge penalty shout for Leicester followed, as Musa appeared to be brought down by Javier Mascherano, but there was nothing given.
Luis Suarez fired into the side-netting just moments later, before Shinji Okazaki headed over at the front post as the Foxes continued to mount a fight back.
But Luis Enrique’s men restored their two-goal advantage shortly after, with Mujica curling in from inside the box to make it 4-2 with just six minutes to play.
That proved to be the last major action of the entertaining encounter, as City now prepare for their FA Community Shield clash with Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on Sunday 7 August.
CITY: Zieler, Chilwell (Fuchs 46), Morgan (c) (Hernandez 46), Huth (Wasilewski 46), Simpson (Amartey 62), Drinkwater, King (Mendy 46), Albrighton (Kapustka 62), Gray (Schlupp 46), Mahrez (Okazaki 46), Vardy (Musa 46)
SUBS NOT USED: Schmeichel, Ulloa
GOALS: Musa 48, 67
BARCELONA: Masip (J. Suarez 77), Denis (Carbonell 77), Arda (Samper 62), L. Suarez Alfaro), Messi (c) (Alena 62), Marlon (Mascherano 46), Munir (Nili 77), Camara (Mujica 77), S. Roberto (Busquets 46), Vidal (Martinez 77), Mathieu (Martinez 77)
GOALS: Munir 26, 45, L. Suarez 34, Mujica 84
REFEREE: Martin Strombergsson
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