Barcelona and Manchester City drew an entertaining friendly 3-3 at Camp Nou on Wednesday in a game held to raise awareness of and funds for research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
More than 90,000 fans attended the game and gave a standing ovation to former club goalkeeper and assistant head coach Juan Carlos Unzué who was diagnosed with the progressive neurodegenerative disease two years ago.
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Unzué won a Champions League, two LaLiga and one Copa del Rey titles as assistant manager to Luis Enrique at Barcelona before joining Girona as head coach in 2020.
He spent the entire game on Wednesday sitting in his wheelchair by the side of Barça manager Xavi Hernández, as an honorary coach.
With both teams resting many leading players, City took an early lead through 22-year-old Argentine striker Julian Alvarez following a mistake by Barça goalkeeper Iñaki Pena.Juan Carlos Unzué addressed the more than 90,000 spectators at the ground. Photograph: Xavi Bonilla/REX/Shutterstock
In possibly his last game for Barcelona before moving to Chelsea, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang equalised in the 29th minute from a rebound. Frenkie de Jong put Barça in front in the 66th minute but Cole Palmer levelled for the English champions four minutes later.
Substitute Memphis Depay gave Barcelona the lead once again with a strike from inside the box after a nice counter-attack led by Sergi Roberto. In stoppage time, City substitute Erling Haaland was tripped inside the area and Riyad Mahrez equalised from the penalty spot.
Depay and De Jong could also be on their way out of Barcelona as the club work to comply with La Liga’s Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules to register new signing Jules Koundé, who played from the start against Man City.
The match had to be stopped for several minutes so 18-year-old City defender Luke Mbete could receive medical attention after receiving a blow to his head in a clash with Andreas Christensen.
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