Ahmed Musa scores twice as Barcelona beat Leicester City
Barcelona have defeated Leicester City 4-2 at the Friends Arena in a thrilling friendly contest to keep alive their hopes of winning the International Champions Cup.
The Foxes trailed by three goals midway through in Stockholm, but were soon back in it when Ahmed Musacame off the bench to score twice and put the opposition under real pressure.
Barca did well to wrestle back control of the match late on and put the game beyond doubt, though, meaning two wins from two in the competition ahead of their meeting with Liverpool on Saturday.
Leicester’s famous title success was largely built on their ability to quickly counter and punish teams, something Barcelona nearly fell victims to just three minutes in when Danny Drinkwater got on the ball.
The midfielder sprayed a pass out to Damarai Gray, but the youngster fluffed his lines when through one-on-one with Jordi Masip to the dismay of Jamie Vardy who was closing in alongside him.
Munir‘s first chance arrived 20 minutes in when slipped through down the left, only for his shot to lack the conviction required as it sailed high over the bar.
The youngster did get his name on the scoresheet soon after, however, much like he did in the win over Celtic in Dublin last weekend, with Danny Simpson failing to cut out Lionel Messi‘s through-ball which allowed Munir to tuck the ball home.
Some quick interplay between Suarez and Munir should have ended with the ex-Liverpool man bagging a second, but Zieler was this time quick out the deny his opponent.
Leicester struggled five minutes later when Suarez took down Messi’s lofted ball and eased his way into a shooting position; putting the ball through Robert Huth‘s legs and brushing aside youngster Ben Chilwellbefore flicking it past Zieler.
City enjoyed their best spell of the game in the minutes leading up to half time, as Huth so nearly slid in a free kick that dipped perfectly to him a few yards out, while Vardy and Andy King came close through headed attempts at the end of Chilwell crosses.
Barca, who only flew into Sweden this morning, looked to put the game out of reach when, ironically enough, hitting their opponents on the counter through a Messi-led attack.
The ball was shifted out to Suarez on the left, and with one look forward he was able to lift the ball over the Leicester backline into the feet of Munir, who took one touch to control the ball and another to slide past Zieler.
Claudio Ranieri used half time to make a raft of changes, having also used 18 players in the meeting with PSG last time out, and it took just three minutes for one of them to make a telling difference.
Record signing Musa burst through on goal and made light work of Jeremy Mathieu, simply knocking the ball around his rival and calmly picking his spot to cut the deficit.
Ranieri’s charges used that breakthrough as a platform to push on, nearly bagging a second through another half-time sub in Jeffrey Schlupp who saw his shot well kept out.
The Premier League champions did have a second with a little under 25 minutes to go, however, when Musa powered the ball into the roof of the net after Schlupp won possession high up on the right.
Musa was proving a real danger, refusing to give up any lost ball and nearly being rewarded once again when tripped by Javier Mascherano - back in training for just one day after cutting his holiday short - inside the area.
There was to be no penalty on that occasion, and Barca nearly used that as their own springboard whenSergio Busquets fired a shot on target for Zieler to push wide with his fingertips.
Any hopes the Foxes had of an impressive scalp came to an end five minutes from time, after a cross from the left was converted by youngster Rafa Mujica to seal the win for the Catalan giants.