Boca Juniors outperform Barça in Maradona tribute match
Boca got the better of a Barça side that disintegrated in the final minutes and lost on penalties. Dani Alves made his debut and was the best of a sorry bunch.
Barça continued their run of negative results - even losing a friendly, like this evening's Maradona Cup in Saudi Arabia, where they lost to Boca Juniors on penalties after it finished 1-1 on 90 minutes. Once again, Barça suffered the jitters in the final minutes allowing their rivals to pull level in the final quarter of an hour.
The friendly, which was a bit of an embarrassment even before it was played and even more awkward when the two teams were scrapping it out on the pitch. But it will boost Barça's coffers by three million euros - money which will go towards rebuilding Xavi's beleaguered side, in exchange for the club's values.
Alves makes first appearance since his return
Dani Alves made his debut and showed that if the team plays with three centre-backs, the right-back position will certainly be his. That the Brazilian impressed speaks volumes of those who are competing with him for a place. Alves and Ferran Jutglà, who scored a great goal, were the only positive notes inyet another drab Barça display. Coutinho showed that he couldn't really care less where he is played, the level of the rivals or the competition, because he never offers anything. Dest once more demonstrated that he isn't up to making the next step in his progression and no one is pushing him to, Riqui once again, was invisible, Yusuf looked out of his depth even in a friendly and Mingueza had another discreet performance.
But if there was anything to cheer, apart from Alves and Jutglà, perhaps it was Neto's display guarding the Barça goal. He looked more secure than Ter Stegen (nothing to puff your chest out about), but during the penalty shootout he was completely lost.
Anyway, an evening wasted, some cash earned and a pointless game which didn't even give Barça the feeling of a lift at having won something - as well as selling the club's values in Saudi Arabia for an absurd trip abroad when they could have been preparing for something more important, like Saturday's visit from Elche.
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