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August 20, 2012 9:10 PM BST
 
 

Barcelona 0-1 Sampdoria: Early Soriano strike sinks Los Cules in Joan Gamper Cup

With the first-team squad playing just two days ago, Vilanova opted to field a mixture of their 'B' side with fringe players, but they simply could not contain the Serie A side

By Joe Krishnan

Marc Bartra; Andrea Costa - FC Barcelona v Sampdoria
Getty Images
Barcelona have lost 1-0 in the Joan Gamper Cup after being overpowered by a more experienced Sampdoria side at the Camp Nou.

Roberto Soriano gave the visitors a shock lead inside 2 minutes and, despite being dominant in possession throughout the game, the hosts couldn't find an equaliser as the Italian side won the trophy.

The Blaugrana, having won 5-1 against Real Sociedad just two days ago, opted for a mix of fringe players with some of their brightest youngsters, such as Gerard Deulofeu and Jean-Marie Dongou also featuring for the Catalan giants. Spain international David Villa, recovering from a broken leg, also continued on the road to recovery after suffering the injury before Euro 2012, and many hoped he could boost his confidence with another goal.

Eric Abidal, recovering from a liver transplant, was applauded by the fans after walking out onto the pitch. The club also decided to parade new signing Alex Song, who had completed his €19 million move from Arsenal earlier in the day.

But after a long opening to the match, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock some 90 seconds from the kick-off, with Soriano netting the opener with a superb diving header.

Barcelona looked to respond and starlet Deulofeu, starting from the right-hand side, delivered a dangerous cross but the ball evaded Villa and Ibrahim Afellay.

Chances were at a premium in what could've only been described as an exhibition match, with Sampdoria more than happy to sit back on their one goal cushion.

And young midfielder Sergi Roberto had a golden chance to equalise but could not find the net just before the half-hour mark.

Argentine striker Maxi Lopez, who played for Barcelona in the 2005-06 season, then came close to adding to Sampdoria's lead but could not find a way past Jose Pinto, with the veteran keeper pulling off a marvellous save to deny the 28-year-old.

Afellay then had a decent chance to level the scores shortly before half-time, but his effort whistled over the crossbar as Barcelona headed into the interval behind.

Vilanova sought to introduce some fresh life into the side after half-time, with Sergi Gomez replacing Andreu Fontas at the heart of defence.

But after a slow start, Sampdoria threatened to add to their lead, with Nicola Pozzi agonisingly close to making it 2-0, with the 26-year-old unfortunate to see his effort strike the post.

With the match becoming more a formality for Sampdoria, Vilanova again opted to give his young starlets a chance to impress, with the impressive Sergi Roberto coming off for Patric.

Another exciting starlet, Dongou, was brought on for Afellay and showed glimpses of the ability that has seen him touted as the next Samuel Eto'o.

And as the game slowed with the passing becoming more a training exercise for Barcelona, Sampdoria were the winners as the final whistle blew to hand them a shock victory.


FC Barcelona

13
 - 
2
Montoya
Defender
 - 
3
 - 
15
Bartra
Defender
 - 
-
Planas
Defender
 - 
-
Dos Santos
Midfielder
 - 
-
Javier Espinosa
Midfielder
 - 
24
Sergi Roberto
Midfielder
 - 
19
Ibrahim Afellay
Midfielder
 - 
9
David Villa
Striker
 - 
10
 - 

Sampdoria

 - 
22
Sergio Romero
Goalkeeper
 - 
13
 - 
28
 - 
-
 - 
3
 - 
21
 - 
14
Pedro Obiang
Midfielder
 - 
23
 - 
21
 - 
29
 - 
7

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