Sunday, 3 July, 2022

Fati gets late winner as Barcelona down All Stars

Teenage striker Ansu Fati got a late winner as Barcelona survived a scare to beat Dwight Yorke's A-League All Stars in a 3-2 thriller in front of 70,000 fans in Sydney on Wednesday.

The Catalan giants only arrived in Australia on Tuesday morning on a whistlestop 48-hour visit, barely a day after completing their league season with a 2-0 loss to Villarreal, which saw them finish 13 points adrift of champions Real Madrid.

They showed few effects from the long trip to turn on the style for a noisy pro-Barca crowd, dominating the first half and going into the break 1-0 ahead after French striker Ousmane Dembele clinically finished in the 34th minute.

But the All Stars stunned them with two goals in eight second-half minutes, before Xavi Hernandez's side rallied to retake control with strikes from Adama Traore and Fati.

"Amazing atmosphere, five goals today, they played really well, I have to congratulate them," said coach Xavi.

After a rare trophy-less season, Xavi brought a strong squad and a host of top names started including captain Sergio Busquets, veteran Dani Alves, and the unsettled Dembele, who may have played his last game for the club.