Barça narrowly beat newly promoted Las Palmas. After a weak first half, the Catalans improved and were lucky to score both of their goals. Gündogan emerged as the match winner when he saved a penalty in stoppage time against former Leverkusen player Sinkgraven
Xavi made three changes from his last competitive game with Barça, a 3-2 win over Almeria: Koundé, de Jong and Ferran Torres started in place of Christensen, Fermin and Joao Felix (all bench). Contrary to the coach’s expectations, the two attacking players were initially unable to make much of an impact
Former Barcelona players provide goals and danger
In general, little came together for the reigning Spanish champions in the first half. To make matters worse, Joao Cancelo had to be substituted after eleven minutes due to injury. Shortly after the first shock, the Catalans had to digest the next one: Sandro was split up on the right and played the ball sharply into the center, where Munir slotted in from close range (12′).
It was two former Barça players who put the Blaugrana behind. They were lucky that Sandro only hit the post after keeper Inaki Pena’s mistake (28). Meanwhile, Xavi’s side failed to get a single shot on target in the first half against the newly-promoted side, with long balls repeatedly going astray – or the Las Palmas defense getting in the way. Marmol barely managed to clear against Sergi Roberto (32′)
Lewandowski curiously sets up Ferran Torres’ equalizer
Apparently Xavi had the right words to say to his team as they left the dressing room, because despite not making any changes, Barça showed a different face after the restart. Raphinha shot over the bar (52′), but the first ball on goal from Las Palmas keeper Valles went over the line: Ferran Torres finished with aplomb – Barcelona were lucky, however, as Lewandowski had been shot at before the goal, which is why it happened at all (55′).
The Blaugrana kept up the pressure, but lacked any sparkling ideas. Marmol almost shocked Barcelona, the defender heading just wide (77′).
Vitor Roque fails to crown his debut
One minute later, 18-year-old winter signing Vitor Roque made his debut for FC Barcelona, the Brazilian failing to beat keeper Valles (81′). Although he missed a great chance deep into stoppage time (90.+7), Barça won. This was made possible by a penalty from Gündogan, who took the spot-kick himself against former Leverkusen player Sinkgraven (who was shown a straight red for his clumsy shove as the last man) and converted it (90.+3).
Barça continue their Copa del Rey campaign on Sunday at UD Barbastro (9pm), with Las Palmas visiting Tenerife an hour later.