Barcelona vs Antwerp score, result, highlights


Barcelona vs Antwerp score, result, highlights

Having already qualified for the Champions League knockout stage, Barcelona were undone by a teenager reportedly auditioning for the club, falling in a 3-2 thriller to Royal Antwerp in Belgium to close out Group H play.

With a largely second-choice lineup deployed by Xavi, Barcelona conceded a dreadful goal just over a minute into the match. Goalkeeper Inaki Pena made an error in possession, which 18-year-old Arthur Vermeeren, who's been linked with a move to Barcelona of late, punished well.

Royal Antwerp battled hard throughout the first half but were pegged back after the half-hour mark by an exquisite Barcelona counter run by young academy product Lamine Yamal and finished by Ferran Torres. Yet the Catalan side would be punished for another mistake shortly after the break, as Oriol Romeu's error in possession would see Vincent Janssen produce the second for the hosts on 56 minutes.

Barcelona pushed for a second equaliser after the break, but they were matched by Mark van Bommel's hosts who took the punches in stride and returned every blow to their opponents of equal measure. That was true as the match reached stoppage time, as Marc Guiu's 91st-minute goal only brought Barcelona level for two minutes, with 17-year-old George Ilenikhena giving the Belgian hosts the win just moments after play resumed.

Starting lineups:

Royal Antwerp (4-5-1, right to left): 1. Butez (GK) — 2. De Laet (van den Bosch, 90'), 23. Alderweireld, 44. Coulibaly, 5. Wijndal — 7. Kerk (Bataille, 69'), 27. Keita, 48. Vermeeren, 8. Yusuf, 19. Ejudke — 18. Janssen (Ilenikhena, 79').

Barcelona (4-4-3, right to left): 13. Pena (GK) — 39. Fort (Cancelo, 60'), 23. Kounde, 15. Christensen, 3. Balde — 20. Roberto, 18. Romeu (Gundogan, 60'), 32. P. Lopez (Pedri, 60') — 27. Yamal, 9. Lewandowski (Guiu, 72'), 7. F. Torres.

Royal Antwerp vs Barcelona recap, goals, highlights

 Royal Antwerp vs Barcelona First half

2nd min: GOAL! ROYAL ANTWERP! Oh no, it's a horrible mistake from Barcelona goalkeeper Inaki Pena, who gives it away and is immediately punished! His dangerous pass up the middle is too hot for Oriol Romeu to handle, and it's blooped to Arthur Vermeeren who blasts it home for an early home lead!

24th min: Owen Wijndal is the first player booked by Italian referee Marco Guida, but it's a bit difficult to tell why. It appears he may have reacted poorly to being beaten to a long ball on the left flank, for which the official gives him the yellow card along with a long staredown.

34th min: There's a long injury delay as Owen Wijndal is down needing treatment after being tackles near the end line. There's nothing naughty about the challenge from Hector Fort but he may have fallen awkwardly after being dispossessed. He appears to be in some pain, but gets up and continues for now.

36th min: GOAL! BARCELONA! A brilliant Barcelona counter-attack from a Royal Antwerp corner sees the Catalan giants equalise! It's led by Lamine Yamal down the right, and after cutting inside on his left he delivers an exquisite ball for Ferran Torres streaking down the middle. Torres cuts the ball into the net despite heavy defensive pressure, and Barca are back level!

HALFTIME: Royal Antwerp 1-1 Barcelona

Despite the lack of competitive stakes, today's Belgian hosts have been up for today's challenge against a young Barcelona squad. They got an early goal on the mistake by Inaki Pena, and troubled the Barcelona defence a few times with their wide play, but they were pegged back by a Barca counter before the break. Antwerp youngster Arthur Vermereen, just 18 years old, is putting on a show in a possible audition for Barcelona. There's plenty of pride on the line in the final 45 minutes, and amidst a very crowded Jupiler Pro League title fight, the emotional boost of beating Barcelona at home could prove very valuable if Royal Antwerp can find a way to snag an upset win.

Royal Antwerp vs Barcelona Second Half:

50th min: Chance, Royal Antwerp! The hosts have the ball in the net, but the flag is up for offside! On the break, former Leicester City full-back Ritchie De Laet crosses to Arthur Vermeeren, and the 18-year-old turns the chance home. In the aftermath, the semi-automated offside technology shows that the decision was correct, as Vermeeren was indeed leaning agonizingly ahead of his trailing defender.

52nd min: Chance, Barcelona! LAMINE YAMAL HITS THE CROSSBAR! The young Barcelona winger is all alone at the far post, and he chests down a switch expertly before ripping a vicious half-volley after just one bounce. It's a venomous effort but just misses the target, smacking the woodwork dead on.

53rd min: Sergi Roberto is shown a red card by the referee for a tackle on Mandela Keita! He catches the Antwerp midfielder a bit high on the ankle, and the official has sent him off!

Yet the replay shows it's a very harsh decision, and almost immediately the referee is told to visit the monitor for a VAR review. He only needs one look to see that not only does Roberto get a touch on the ball, his tackle isn't nearly high enough to produce a dismissal, and the decision is changed to a yellow. Excellently done by both the VAR official and the on-pitch referee to make the change so quickly and get the call right.

Barcelona are punished for another mistake as Oriol Romeu is dispossessed at the top of his own penalty area by Alhassan Yusuf. The Nigerian takes the ball and feeds it left to Vincent Janssen, who finishes extremely well from a tight angle on the left. Barcelona have egg on their faces again, and are now behind for a second time!

60th min: Xavi makes a triple change, yanking the struggling Oriol Romeu and inserting Ilkay Gundogan into midfield, while Joao Cancelo also enters in place of young Hector Fort, and Pedri comes on to replace Pau Lopez.

69th min: Chance, Royal Antwerp! In the immediate aftermath of a Royal Antwerp corner, captain Toby Alderweireld crosses to the head of Soumaila Coulibaly, but it's floated just inches over the crossbar! Just before the chance, the hosts made their first substitution, withdrawing Gyrano Kerk for Jelle Bataille on the right flank. Barcelona respond by bringing on Marc Guiu in place of Robert Lewandowski, whose goal drought continues.

80th min: Royal Antwerp make another change as Vincent Janssen is brought off to thunderous applause from the home fans, replaced by George Ilenikhena. It comes alongside another swap from Antwerp head coach Mark van Bommel brings 18-year-old Kobe Corbanie on to replace left wing-back Chidera Ejuke. It comes just after Barcelona made their final substitution, with Marc Casado replacing Sergi Roberto.

90 min: In the first of four added minutes, Ritchie De Laet is booked for a really reckless foul on Ferran Torres.

90+1 min: GOAL! BARCELONA! Xavi's blushes are saved in stoppage time as Pedri buries a header off a free-kick! Ilkay Gundogan's delivery is placed perfectly for Marc Guiu who redirects it inside the near post, and Barcelona are level! A gut-punch to Royal Antwerp who have been excellent, but can't quite hold the lead long enough.

90+3 min: GOAL! ROYAL ANTWERP! NOT SO FAST! ROYAL ANTWERP ARE BACK IN FRONT! WHAT A SENSATIONAL MOMENT FOR THE BELGIAN CLUB! George Ilenikhena, in off the bench just over 10 minutes ago, puts Barcelona to the sword as he's played through by fellow substitute Jelle Bataille with a lovely through ball. With the visiting defense in complete disarray, he finishes with the left foot calmly and puts the hosts back in front to leave the La Liga giants stunned.

90+6 min: Handbags! There's a massive scuffle as Barcelona look to play a throw-in quickly but Royal Antwerp won't let them. Ferran Torres and Jelle Bataille both get booked as they go face-to-face on the touchline.

The full-time whistle goes moments later, and the match is over! Royal Antwerp have their win and fully deserve it, too!

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