Arsenal Women 2-5 Barcelona: Gunners defeated by Spanish giants in thrilling friendly
- Credit: PA Wire/PA Images
Arsenal Women fell to a heavy 5-2 defeat against Champions League finalist Barcelona Women on Wednesday night in an entertaining pre-season friendly at Meadow Park.
Katie McCabe put the Gunners ahead, Patricia Guijarro and Asistat Oshoala pegged them back before half-time.
Oshoala got her second just after the interval to make it 3-1, before Claudia Pina scored either side of a Kim Little penalty to ensure Barcelona's comfortable victory.
Making her first start since July's World Cup final, Vivianne Miedema wasn't too far off the pace, getting in on goal within the opening exchanges.
Fellow Dutch international Danielle van de Donk slid a pass into the box as she peeled off her marker, but was offside as she just dragged her shot wide when one-on-one, although there were encouraging signs early on.
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Barcelona quickly grew into the game, however, and had two great chances to open the scoring.
15 minutes in, Asisat Oshoala's right-footed effort from inside the box was palmed wide before Alexia Putellas flashed a header the wrong side of the post.
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Arsenal captain Kim Little looked to get her side back into the game, sprayed some nice passes out wide for on-runners, but their next chance came from a central area.
Following a corner, the ball fell to Beth Mead on the edge of the box, who let off a quick shot at goal which whizzed past the post.
Arsenal took the lead late in the half, but didn't have it for long.
McCabe smashed the ball in off the post from just outside the box before a quickfire double from Barcelona saw them go into the break ahead.
Quick breaks from the visitors ended with Guijarro bending an effort in from the edge of the box, before Oshoala slotted under Manuela Zinsberger in a hectic end to the half.
The second-half began in a similar fashion to the way the first ended, with Oshoala scoring.
The Nigerian striker was alert enough to rifle home her second goal of the game when Zinsberger spilt Putellas' initial volley.
Oshoala could have had her hat-trick within the hour, but Zinsberger showed great composure to claim the ball at the striker's feet as she tried to round her.
It wasn't long until Barcelona made it 4-1, however, as substitute Pina got on the scoresheet, guiding a first-time effort into the far corner leaving Zinsberger helpless.
Arsenal got the lease of life they were looking for when Leonie's Maier's shot was handled in the box minutes later by Leila Ouahabi.
Skipper Little was on hand to bury the resulting penalty and Arsenal went on the front foot yet again.
This didn't last long, however, as Pina added her second of the game with a tap in from six-yards out after good movement left her free in the box for a cutback.
With the game out of his reach, Montemurro used the closing moments to give some minutes to youngsters Ruby Grant, Melisa Filis and Silvana Flores, who were given a warm reception by the home crowd.