Barcelona vs. Leicester City: Score and Reaction from 2016 ICC

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2016

Leicester's English midfielder Danny Drinkwater (L) vies with Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi during the 2016 International Champions Cup football match between FC Barcelona and Leicester City at Friends Arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Sweden. / AFP / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND        (Photo credit should read JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona defeated Leicester City 4-2 in the International Champions Cup at the Friends Arena in Solna, Sweden, on Wednesday in a highly entertaining friendly during pre-season training for both sides.

Barca took the lead through prodigy Munir before Luis Suarez linked with Lionel Messi to double the score. Munir grabbed a third on the stroke of half-time, but the Foxes hit back twice through substitute Ahmed Musa. 

Rafa Mujica wrapped up the win late in the day as Leicester attempted to complete a dramatic comeback after a resilient second-half performance.

The match was full of energy and verve as both sides looked for a workout, but there was a clear difference in passing quality as the Spaniards prevailed in the first half.

SOLNA, SWEDEN - AUGUST 03: A supporter of Leicester City ahead of the Pre-Season Friendly between Leicester City FC and FC Barcelona at Friends arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Sweden. (Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images)
Nils Petter Nilsson/Ombrello/Getty Images

The Premier League champions gave Jamie Vardy his first start of pre-season after Euro 2016 duty, partnering Riyad Mahrez in attack for the Foxes.

Barcelona fielded a strong side with Messi as skipper, while Denis Suarez was included in the starting XI after returning to the Camp Nou after a successful stint at Villarreal.

Barca looked in control from the early moments as the English side attempted to hit the Spanish giants on the break. The Foxes leaned on the ropes in the opening stages, looking to counterpunch and sting their illustrious opponents.

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SOLNA, SWEDEN - AUGUST 03: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona and Ben Chilwell of Leicester City during the International Champions Cup 2016 match between Barcelona and Leicester City at Friends arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Sweden. (Photo by Catherine Ivil
Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images

Demarai Gray should have given the King Power Stadium outfit the lead after he and Vardy burst through the Barca defence, but the former Birmingham City attacker wasted his opportunity as he missed the target, with Vardy clear for a tap-in.

The Liga champions grabbed the lead after 26 minutes as Munir expertly found the net after a sweeping attack.

Sky Sports provided footage of the goal:

Sky Sports PL @SkySportsPL

GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Leicester City. Munir picks out the back of the net! Live blog here: https://t.co/waBfh3ARP9 https://t.co/mbbFTRKsFZ

Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (L) celebrates with his teammate Argentinian forward Lionel Messi after scoring a goal during the 2016 International Champions Cup football match between FC Barcelona and Leicester City at Friends Arena on August

Messi remained in control from the centre of the pitch as Leicester struggled to defend their territory.

The second of the night came eight minutes later courtesy of Luis Suarez as the Uruguay hitman bulldozed his way past his marker, lifting the ball over the 'keeper at the correct moment.

Sky Sports once again provided footage of the goal:

Sky Sports PL @SkySportsPL

"Incredible!" Suarez with a stunning solo effort! Barcelona 2-0 Leicester City. Live blog: https://t.co/waBfh3ARP9 https://t.co/QLt4YQvOz3

English heads fell further as Barca grabbed a third through Munir on the stroke of half-time.

Luis Suarez picked out the young attacker with a precision pass as the Foxes appeared well beaten before the second half.

BeIN Sports commented on the English team's dramatic capitulation:


GOAL! Barca are tearing the Foxes apart! This could get embarrassing for Leicester. #FCB 3 #LEI 0 #ICC2016 https://t.co/gFtJJ5s4ar

Leicester scored directly after the break as substitute Musa burst through to penetrate a laboured Barca defence who were caught cold.

Fellow sub Shinji Okazaki assisted as the Nigeria international found a top-class finish.

The former CSKA Moscow attacker sprinted away with impressive speed, per Sky Sports:

Sky Sports PL @SkySportsPL

GOAL! Barcelona 3-1 Leicester City. What a goal that is from new boy Ahmed Musa! Live blog: https://t.co/waBfh3ARP9 https://t.co/7Kc96ngs6L

Freelance journalist Ryan Hubbard tipped his hat to the Foxes sub as he finished with aplomb:

⚽🇵🇱Ryan Hubbard 🇵🇱⚽ @Ryan_Hubbard

Great run Ahmed Musa. Left the Barca defence for dust.

Leicester were much more impressive as the match wore on, and Barcelona appeared demotivated after a stellar opening. The Foxes were clearly on top as the game progressed and attained a second through Musa, who drilled his effort into the top corner.

Barca were now lethargic as the English team penetrated, with the result in danger for the leaders.

The English champions continued to show their fighting skills deep into the encounter and could have scored a third as Barca retracted. However, the Spaniards were happy to sit deeper and play their typical brand of possession football.

Leicester's Nigerian forward Ahmed Musa (2nd L) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal during the 2016 International Champions Cup friendly football match between FC Barcelona and Leicester City at Friends Arena on August 3, 2016 in Solna, Swe

The changes were rung in the final 15 minutes as both teams rotated their selections to give extra minutes to their squad players. 

Leicester continued to put pressure on their opponents' goal but couldn't find the strike to complete a deserved comeback.

Barca put the result to bed in the final minutes as Mujica fired home for a fourth against the run of play.

The Foxes now know the standard they will face in the UEFA Champions League, and the game against Barca will provide a barometer of things to come for the Premier League winners this term.


Post-Match Reaction

Barca manager Luis Enrique was pleased with his side's performance in Sweden, per the club's official Twitter account:

FC Barcelona 🏆🏆 @FCBarcelona

Luis Enrique post-match: "We played a very complete first half and are gaining in fitness" #FCBLeicester https://t.co/goMG0q8GJX

Leicester feature next in the Community Shield at Wembley on Sunday where they take on Manchester United. Barca play in the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla on Wednesday, August 17.


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