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Leandro Trossard, Arsenal edge FC Barcelona in feisty SoFi Stadium friendly – Daily News

Arsenal midfielder Leandro Trossard, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring their fourth goal during a Soccer Champions Tour exhibition match against FC Barcelona on Wednesday night at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood. Trossard scored two goals in Arsenal’s 5-3 win. (Photo by Patrick T. Fallon/AFP via Getty Images)

INGLEWOOD — English Premier League powerhouse Arsenal defeated La Liga’s FC Barcelona, 5-3, in an international exhibition match on Wednesday night at SoFi Stadium behind two second-half goals from midfielder Leandro Trossard.

Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz and Fábio Vieira scored one goal each for Arsenal in the win. Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Ferran Torres each scored a goal for Barcelona in a match that featured several rough tackles in the first half.

“It was really competitive, especially for a friendly match,” Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said. “Playing in front of 70,000 fans helps create an atmosphere and they are all elite players and want to win. At the end, I think it got a bit too much to be a friendly, but I think for all the people who came to the game it was really good.”

Barcelona came into Wednesday’s match with some uncertainty surrounding the health of its players. The club canceled its first scheduled Soccer Champions Tour match against Italian club Juventus after many of the Barcelona players caught a virus.

Barcelona started Wednesday’s match strong, scoring in the seventh minute. Barcelona winger Abde Ezzalzouli was able to break loose and found winger Raphinha near the left side of the goal. Raphinha’s shot was saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, but Lewandowski rebounded Raphinha’s miss and scored to put Barcelona up, 1-0.

Arsenal, owned by Rams owner Stan Kroenke’s Kroenke Sports Enterprises, responded just six minutes later when Saka scored after cutting and receiving a deflection on the right side of the goal, leading to an open shot that he converted.

Saka had another opportunity to score on a penalty kick in the 21st minute, but his shot was wide right.

Barcelona capitalized on a free kick in the 34th minute when Raphinha shot from just outside the right side of the box. His shot was deflected off of Arsenal midfielder Martin Odegaard’s right arm, which changed the trajectory of the shot enough to put it out of reach of Ramsdale and into the right side of the goal.

Odegaard redeemed himself later in the half when he headed an assist on Havertz’s goal in the 43rd minute, and the clubs went into halftime tied at 2-2.

To start the second half, Barcelona opted to sub out its starters while Arsenal still had all but one starter to begin the second half.

Arsenal took its first lead of the match in the second half when Trossard scored from the left side of the box for a 3-2 advantage.

Trossard scored his second goal in the 78th minute off a cross from Kieran Tierney to double Arsenal’s lead.

“Leo has been working so hard,” Arteta said. “He’s been playing different from the wingers that we have and he’s got great versatility. It was great, it will be good for his confidence for sure.”

Each team scored one last goal in the final minute, but Arsenal held on to win.

Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez said the virus the team suffered did not play a factor in the team’s loss.

“Arsenal deserves the victory,” Hernandez said. “The principal theme was the physical intensity. We really suffered on the defensive level. … But overall, we are very happy with the result of the game apart from their scoring.”

Barcelona has two more matches on the tour – the first against rival Real Madrid on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and the second against AC Milan on Tuesday at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

Arsenal concluded its preseason exhibition tour with Wednesday’s victory, having gone 2-1 with its other victory coming against the MLS All-Stars. Midfielder Declan Rice sat out Wednesday’s match as a precaution with a minor calf issue.

The Soccer Champions Tour will be back in Southern California on Thursday night when Juventus takes on AC Milan at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson.

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