Barcelona Beats Tottenham on Penalties to Win 2018 ICC Match

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 29, 2018

Barcelona's players celebrate with Arthur (R) after he scored the second goal in the first half against Tottenham Hotspur during the International Champions Cup football match between Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur on July 28, 2018 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Barcelona defeated Tottenham 5-3 on penalties after drawing 2-2 during normal time on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.

Munir El Haddadi and Arthur propelled Barcelona up 2-0 entering the break, but Spurs responded with a 73rd-minute goal from Son Heung-Min and a 75th-minute equaliser courtesy of Georges-Kevin N'Koudou. 

Malcom converted the winning penalty to propel Barcelona to a win to open their International Champions Cup campaign.

Munir Displays Why Barcelona Want to Avoid Third Straight Loan Stint

Munir El Haddadi has spent the last two years on loan at Valencia and Alaves establishing himself as a viable centerpiece in the attacking third with 16 La Liga goals, including 10 a season ago. 

On Saturday, he found the back of the net once again when he calmly deposited a header at the back post off a tremendous pass from Sergi Roberto to open the scoring in the 15th minute. 

Given his encouraging development, which was highlighted by that early tally, it's no wonder Barcelona are reportedly keen on keeping the 22-year-old.  

In fact, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has reportedly informed the Spanish international the club would like to keep him in the fold this upcoming season, per Sport's Lluís Miguelsanz

The issue, according to Miguelsanz, is that the "striker is reticent to sign but Barca hope to seduce him with minutes and a percentage of a future sale."

If Munir can continue to make encouraging strides through the remainder of Barcelona's stay in North America, it stands to reason he will be able to piece together a regular role that allows his profile to rise with his prime on the horizon. 

Arthur Showcases Promise on Barcelona Debut

Arthur may not see extended playing time off the bat during his first year with the Catalan giants given Barcelona's glut of midfield talent, but his debut suggested some big things may be in store down the line. 

Donning a Barcelona shirt for the first time since signing a six-year contract earlier this month, the Brazilian made a statement and laced a strike into the top-left corner past Paulo Gazzaniga in the 29th minute. 

Now, that's not to say there will be goals galore. After all, the 21-year-old registered just six goals in 66 appearances for Gremio in Brazil's Serie A. 

But with loads of potential and a long-term commitment from management that signals a strong desire to mold him into a focal point in due time, it's safe to expect continued glimpses of brilliance moving forward. 

What's Next? 

Tottenham will wrap up their ICC stint against AC Milan on Tuesday at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Barcelona will also be in action Tuesday for a showdown with Roma at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.